Joseph Harper (English politician)

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Joseph Harper (17 March 1914 – 24 June 1978) was a Labour Party politician in Great Britain.

He was elected as the Member of Parliament MP for Pontefract at a by-election in 1962. He was MP for the constituency and then the reformed Pontefract and Castleford constituency until he died in office at the age of 64. Playwright James Graham has attributed Harper's death to his decision to "[delay] emergency surgery in his determination to never miss a vote".[1]

At the by-election held after Harper's death, the seat was held for Labour by Geoffrey Lofthouse.

Harper was from a working-class background working at Ackton Hall Colliery, Featherstone. He lived at 11 Bedford Close, Featherstone with his wife Gwen and youngest daughter Pat. He had a further daughter, Wendy, who also resided on Bedford Close, and two sons Glyn and Graham.


  1. ^ A hung parliament? It’ll be the 1970s again, and people will die, by James Graham, in the Guardian; published June 13, 2017; retrieved June 13, 2017

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Oscar Sylvester
Member of Parliament for Pontefract
1962Feb 1974
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Pontefract and Castleford
Feb 19741978
Succeeded by
Geoffrey Lofthouse
Political offices
Preceded by
Walter Clegg
Comptroller of the Household
Succeeded by
James Hamilton