Henry Usborne

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Henry Charles Usborne (16 January 1909 – 16 March 1996) was a British Labour Party politician who defected to the Liberal Party.

Early life[edit]

Usborne was born in Hisar, Punjab, India,[1][2] was educated at Bradfield College and read Engineering at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.[3]

Political career[edit]

In the 1945 general election, Usborne was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Acocks Green. The constituency was abolished and in 1950 Usborne was elected in the marginal constituency of Birmingham Yardley. He held the seat until the 1959 general election.

According to his obituary in the Times on 19 March 1996, Usborne resigned from the Labour Party in 1962 and joined the Liberal Party. He urged former colleagues to join Jo Grimond's party as the best hope for defeating the Conservatives. There was a suggestion that Usborne be nominated to stand for the Liberal Party at Cheltenham, but he announced that wild horses would not drag him into another parliamentary contest.

Foundation of Parliamentary Group for World Government[edit]

In addition to his work as a constituency MP, he was one of the main drivers in the British branch of the World Federalist Movement. In 1945, ahead of the foundation of the United Nations, he co-founded the Parliamentary Group for World Government (PGWG),[4][2] which led to the establishment of the World Association of Parliamentarians for World Government (WAPWG)[5] in 1947, later renamed the World Parliament Association (WPA)[4] which as All Party Parliamentary Group for World Governance (APPGWG) counts today. 167 members of APPGWG meets regularly to provide a forum for debate on global governance issues in the British Parliament. In 1951, Usborne set up the One World Trust (OWT) as an independent educational Charity to provide secretarial support to the Group, promote and disseminate knowledge on world governance. In addition to its ongoing support for the APPGWG, the One World Trust conducts independent research into the accountability of global organisations, political engagement of citizens at global level and international law.

Usborne was one of the signatories of the agreement to convene a convention for drafting a world constitution.[6][7] As a result, for the first time in human history, a World Constituent Assembly convened to draft and adopt the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.[8]


Usborne died in Evesham, Worcestershire, at 87.[citation needed]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ says, Ian Hackett (25 November 2018). "Henry Usborne: Politician and World Government Campaigner - Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology Service". www.explorethepast.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Obituary: Henry Usborne". The Independent. 20 March 1996. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  3. ^ "USBORNE, Henry Charles". Who's Who & Who Was Who. Vol. 2020 (online ed.). A & C Black. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ a b "University of Sussex Library Special Collections: World Parliament Association Archive". www.sussex.ac.uk. Retrieved 29 July 2023.
  5. ^ "World Parliament Association | UIA Yearbook Profile | Union of International Associations". uia.org. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  6. ^ "Letters from Thane Read asking Helen Keller to sign the World Constitution for world peace. 1961". Helen Keller Archive. American Foundation for the Blind. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  7. ^ "Letter from World Constitution Coordinating Committee to Helen, enclosing current materials". Helen Keller Archive. American Foundation for the Blind. Retrieved 3 July 2023.
  8. ^ "Preparing earth constitution | Global Strategies & Solutions | The Encyclopedia of World Problems". The Encyclopedia of World Problems | Union of International Associations (UIA). Retrieved 15 July 2023.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Birmingham Acock's Green
Constituency abolished
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley
Succeeded by