Jennie Adamson

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Janet Laurel Adamson
Member of Parliament for Dartford
In office
7 November 1938 – 4 July 1945
Preceded by Frank Edward Clarke
Succeeded by Norman Dodds
Member of Parliament for Peckham
In office
5 July 1945 – 21 July 1946
Preceded by Constituency created
Succeeded by Ashley Bramall
Personal details
Born Janet Laurel Johnston
(1882-05-09)9 May 1882
Kirkcudbright, Scotland
Died 25 April 1962(1962-04-25) (aged 79)
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) William Murdoch Adamson

Janet Laurel Adamson (née Johnston;[1] 9 May 1882 – 25 April 1962) was a Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom. She sat in the House of Commons from 1938 to 1946, and served as a junior minister in Clement Attlee's post-war Labour government.

Early life and family[edit]

Janet Laurel Johnston was born on 9 May 1882, the daughter of Thomas Johnston of Kirkcudbright. She married, in 1902, to William Murdoch Adamson (d. 1945), a Transport and General Workers' Union official who became Labour MP for Cannock.[1][2]

Political career[edit]

From 1928 to 1931, Adamson was a member of London County Council for Lambeth North. She served on the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party from 1927 to 1947.[1]

Adamson unsuccessfully contested Dartford at the 1935 general election, when the sitting Conservative MP Frank Clarke held the seat with a significantly reduced majority.[3] However, Clarke died in July 1938, and at the resulting by-election in November 1938, Adamson won the seat on a swing of 4.2%.[3]

The constituency was divided in boundary changes for the 1945 general election, when Adamson was elected with a large majority (27% of the votes) for the new Bexley constituency.[4] She served as a Parliamentary Private Secretary from 1940 to 1945 and Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Pensions from 1945 to 1946,[1] under minister Wilfred Paling.

Adamson resigned from Parliament in 1946, becoming Deputy Chair of the Unemployment Assistance Board from 1946 to 1953.[1] Her resignation precipitated a by-election in July 1946 which was narrowly won by the Labour candidate Ashley Bramall.[4] At the next general election, in 1950, the seat was won by future Prime Minister Edward Heath. She was a Member of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party from 1927 to 1947 and was Chairman 1935 to 1936.[2]

Adamson died on 25 April 1962.[5]



  1. ^ a b c d e "Jennie Adamson". Observatory. Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics, Queens University Belfast. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Stenton and Lees Who's Who of British Members of Parliament vol. iv p. 1
  3. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 383. ISBN 0-900178-06-X. 
  4. ^ a b Craig, op cit, page 76
  5. ^ Stenton and Lees Who's Who of British Members of Parliament vol. iv p. 2


  • Stenton, M., Lees, S. (1981). Who's Who of British Members of Parliament, volume iv (covering 1945-1979). Sussex: The Harvester Press; New Jersey: Humanities Press. ISBN 0-391-01087-5

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Frank Edward Clarke
Member of Parliament for Dartford
Succeeded by
Norman Dodds
New constituency Member of Parliament for Bexley
Succeeded by
Ashley Bramall
Political offices
Preceded by
William Sidney
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Pensions
1945 – 1946
Succeeded by
Arthur Blenkinsop
Party political offices
Preceded by
William Albert Robinson
Chair of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Hugh Dalton