Lewis Silkin, 1st Baron Silkin

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Lewis Silkin, 1st Baron Silkin CH (14 November 1889 – 11 May 1972), was a British Labour Party politician.

Silkin worked as a solicitor (Lewis Silkin LLP, the London law firm where he practised, still bears his name.[1]), before becoming a member of the London County Council in 1925. He chaired the LCC Town Planning and the Housing and Public Health Committees and was a member of the Central Housing Advisory Committee. He was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Peckham in 1936, and was a member of the Select Committee on National Expenditure. He was Minister of Town and Country Planning in the Government of Clement Attlee from 1945 until he retired in 1950.

Silkin was raised to the peerage as Baron Silkin, of Dulwich in the County of London, in the 1950 Birthday Honours. He was further honoured in 1965 when he was made a Companion of Honour. Of his three sons, his eldest, Arthur, a civil servant, disclaimed the peerage. The other two, Samuel and John, both followed him into Parliament and became members of the Privy Council as well as Government Ministers. Although Samuel refused a knighthood as Attorney-General, he eventually became a life peer as Baron Silkin of Dulwich, of North Leigh in the County of Oxfordshire.

Samuel's son Christopher also disclaimed the hereditary peerage on the death of his uncle Arthur in 2001, the first time a peerage has been disclaimed twice.

See also[edit]


  • Iain Dale, ed. (2003). The Times House of Commons 1929, 1931, 1935. Politico's (reprint). ISBN 1-84275-033-X.
  • The Times House of Commons 1945. The Times. 1945.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Viscount Borodale
Member of Parliament for Peckham
Succeeded by
Freda Kunzlen Corbet
Party political offices
Preceded by
Cecil Manning
Leader of the Labour Party on London County Council
Succeeded by
Herbert Morrison
Political offices
Preceded by
William Morrison
Minister of Town and Country Planning
Succeeded by
Hugh Dalton
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Silkin
Succeeded by
Arthur Silkin