Frederick Messer

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Sir Frederick Messer CBE 12 May 1886–8 May 1971 was a British trade unionist and Labour politician. He was a member of the House of Commons and Chairman of Middlesex County Council.[1]

Messer was born in north London, and was the son of a poor law officer. He was educated at Thornhill Primary School, Islington before entering an apprenticeship as a French polisher. He became one of the first members of the French Polishers Union.[1] He subsequently changed his career, becoming national organiser of the Industrial Orthopaedic Society.[1]

He was elected as a Labour Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Tottenham South at the 1929 general election. Two years later another election was held and Messer was defeated in a straight fight with the National Labour candidate, Francis Palmer[2] The situation was reversed when he regained the seat from Palmer at the next general election in 1935.[3] He held the seat until its abolition in 1950, and was MP for the successor seat of Tottenham from 1950 until his retirement from parliament in 1959.[1] He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1948 "for political and public services" and knighted in 1953.[4][5]

As well as serving in parliament, he was for many years a member of Middlesex County Council. For 15 years he was chairman of the Labour group on the council, and in 1938 was elevated to become an alderman.[1] He served as chairman of the council from 1947 to 1948, the first member of the Labour Party to hold the chair. A Bevanite, in 1958 he became the first president of Victory for Socialism, a left-wing ginger group within the Labour Party.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Obituary: Sir Frederick Messer. Former Labour MP". The Times. 11 May 1971. p. 16. 
  2. ^ "The General Election, First Returns, Polling In The Boroughs". The Times. 28 October 1931. p. 6. 
  3. ^ "The General Election, First Returns, Polling In The Boroughs". The Times. 15 November 1935. p. 8. 
  4. ^ "No. 38493". The London Gazette. 31 December 1948. p. 11 supp=yes. 
  5. ^ "No. 39904". The London Gazette. 3 July 1953. p. 3677. 
  6. ^ Political Correspondent (13 February 1958). "Labour Group To Fight Apathy". The Times. 

External links[edit]

Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Sir Frederick Messer

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Patrick Bernard Malone
Member of Parliament for Tottenham South
Succeeded by
Francis Noel Palmer
Preceded by
Francis Noel Palmer
Member of Parliament for Tottenham South
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Tottenham
Succeeded by
Alan Brown