Joan Maynard

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Joan Maynard
Member of Parliament
for Sheffield Brightside
In office
10 October 1974 – 11 June 1987
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Preceded by Edward Griffiths
Succeeded by David Blunkett
Personal details
Born (1921-07-05)5 July 1921
Easingwold, North Yorkshire, England
Died 27 March 1998(1998-03-27) (aged 76)
Sowerby, North Yorkshire, England
Political party Labour
Occupation Trade union official

Vera Joan Maynard (5 July 1921 – 27 March 1998) was an English Labour politician and trade unionist.

Maynard was born in Easingwold, North Yorkshire on 5 July 1921.[1] Dubbed "Stalin's Granny" owing to her left-wing views,[2] Maynard was a leading activist in the National Union of Agricultural Workers becoming vice-president of the union and being narrowly beaten to its presidency. She joined the Labour Party in 1946 and served as a councillor on North Yorkshire County Council.[1] She was elected to Labour's National Executive Committee 1972–82 and 1983–87, and was Vice-Chair of the Labour Party 1980–81.[3] She was appointed a Justice of the Peace at Thirsk in 1950.[3]

Having acted as Labour agent in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, Maynard was elected in 1974 as MP for Sheffield Brightside and held the seat until she retired in 1987. Throughout her political career Maynard advocated policies on the left of the Labour Party and chaired the left-wing Campaign Group. She served on the Agriculture Select Committee 1975–87.[1] She played a leading role in securing the passage of the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976 which regulated the tied cottage system that had caused misery to rural workers.[4]

Maynard died of cancer in Sowerby, North Yorkshire on 27 March 1998, the same day as fellow former MP, Joan Lestor. Her remains are buried alongside her immediate family at Thornton-le-Street.[5][6]


  • Mason-O'Connor, Kristine (2003). Joan Maynard: A Passionate Socialist. Politico's Publishing. ISBN 1-84275-059-3[2]
  • Routledge, Paul (2003). Bumper Book of British Lefties. Politico's Publishing. ISBN 1-84275-064-X


  1. ^ a b c Tam Dalyell (30 March 1998). "Obituary: Joan Maynard". The Independent. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b Beckett, Frasncis (23 June 2003). "Stalin's granny". New Statesman.
  3. ^ a b MAYNARD, (Vera) Joan. Who's Who (April 2014 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 6 January 2015. closed access publication – behind paywall
  4. ^ Chris Mullen. "Joan Maynard's memorial meeting 1998 speech". Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Labour mourns death of another former MP". BBC. 28 March 1998. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  6. ^ Chris Mullin (2011). A Walk-On Part : Diaries 1994-1999. Profile Books. pp. 320, 326, 337, 339. ISBN 9781846685231.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edward Griffiths
Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside
October 19741987
Succeeded by
David Blunkett