Vernon Bartlett

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Vernon Bartlett in 1932

Charles Vernon Oldfield Bartlett, CBE (30 April 1894, Westbury, Wiltshire – 18 January 1983) was an English journalist, politician and author. He served as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1938 to 1950: first as an Independent Progressive advocating a Popular Front, then for the Common Wealth Party, and then again as an Independent Progressive.


After education at Blundell's School Bartlett was invalided out of the Army in World War I. As a journalist he worked for the Daily Mail, and was a foreign correspondent for The Times. In 1922 he was appointed director of the London office of the League of Nations. Bartlett, who had been working for the BBC, did not have his contract renewed after his coverage of Hitler's decision to leave the League of Nations in 1933 was deemed "not beastly enough" when talking about Germany.[1] In 1933 he joined the News Chronicle, and was its diplomatic correspondent for 20 years, including a period in Spain during the Spanish Civil War.[2]

He was elected to the House of Commons for the Somerset seat of Bridgwater as a Popular Front candidate opposed to appeasement in a by-election held on 18 November 1938. He held the seat for 12 years.

In 1942 Vernon Bartlett, Richard Acland, J. B. Priestley and others established the socialist Common Wealth Party. At the 1945 election, he kept his Bridgwater seat, standing as an Independent. He joined the Labour Party in 1950 and retired from parliament.

He retired from the News Chronicle in 1954 and moved to Singapore, where he was both political commentator for the Straits Times and South East Asia correspondent for the Manchester Guardian.


  • Calf Love, 1929
  • Journey's End: a novel (with R. C. Sherriff), 1930
  • Nazi Germany Explained, 1933
  • This is My Life, 1937
  • Tomorrow Always Comes, 1943
  • East of the Iron Curtain, 1950
  • Struggle for Africa, 1953
  • You and your surfboard, 1953
  • And Now, Tomorrow, 1960
  • Tuscan Retreat, 1964
  • A Book about Elba, 1965
  • Introduction to Italy, 1967
  • The Past of Pastimes, 1969
  • The Colour of their Skin, 1969
  • Tuscan Harvest, 1971
  • Central Italy, 1972
  • Northern Italy, 1973
  • I Know What I Liked, 1974


  1. ^ "Newswatch". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-11-17. 
  2. ^ Preston, Paul. We Saw Spain Die: Foreign Correspondents in the Spanish Civil War. Constable. 2008

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Reginald Croom-Johnson
Member of Parliament for Bridgwater
Succeeded by
Sir Gerald Wills