Thomas Richards (Welsh politician)
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Born in Beaufort, Richards was educated at the Beaufort British School, before becoming a coal miner at the age of twelve. In 1884, he was the main founder of the Ebbw Vale Miners' Association, serving as its secretary and agent. The association became part of the South Wales Miners' Federation in 1898, Richards continuing as agent of its Ebbw Vale District until 1901, while also becoming the first general secretary of the SWMF.
Richards was a supporter of the Liberal-Labour movement, and was elected to Monmouthshire County Council in 1904. That year, he won a by-election to become Member of Parliament for West Monmouthshire. In 1909, he was instructed by his trade union to resign the Liberal whip and take the Labour whip and at both the 1910 General Elections he stood as a Labour candidate. He held the seat until its abolition at the 1918 general election, when he was elected for the new Ebbw Vale constituency. He resigned from Parliament in 1920.
Out of Parliament, Richards devoted his time to the SWMF, and the Miners' Federation of Great Britain (MFGB). He represented them on the General Council of the Trades Union Congress from 1925, and served as President of the MFGB from 1929 to 1930.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Thomas Richards
- Archives Network Wales – Thomas Richards
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Sir William Vernon Harcourt
| Member of Parliament for West Monmouthshire
|New constituency|| Member of Parliament for Ebbw Vale
|Trade union offices|
| Secretary of the South Wales Miners Federation
| Vice-President of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain
| President of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain
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