Rt Hon. George Lansbury PC MP
(1859-1940)

Died aged c. 81

George Lansbury (22 February 1859 – 7 May 1940) was a British politician and social reformer who led the Labour Party from 1932 to 1935. Apart from a brief period of ministerial office during the Labour government of 1929–31, he spent his political life campaigning against established authority and vested interests, his main causes being the promotion of social justice, women's rights and world disarmament. Originally a radical Liberal, Lansbury became a socialist in the early 1890s, and thereafter served his local community in the East End of London in numerous elective offices. His activities were underpinned by his Christian beliefs which, except for a short period of doubt, sustained him through his life. Elected to Parliament in 1910, he resigned his seat in 1912 to campaign for women's suffrage, and was briefly imprisoned after publicly supporting militant action. In 1912, Lansbury helped to establish the Daily Herald newspaper, and became its editor. Throughout the First World War the paper maintained a strongly pacifist stance, and supported the October 1917 Russian Revolution. These positions contributed to Lansbury's failure to be elected to Parliament in 1918. He devoted himself to local politics in his home borough of Poplar, and went to prison with 30 fellow-councillors for his part in the Poplar "rates revolt" of 1921. After his return to Parliament in 1922, Lansbury was denied office in the brief Labour government of 1924, although he served as First Commissioner of Works in the Labour government of 1929–31. After the political and economic crisis of August 1931, Lansbury did not follow his leader, Ramsay MacDonald, into the National Government, but remained with the Labour Party. As the most senior of the small contingent of Labour MPs that survived the 1931 general election, Lansbury became the Leader of the Labour Party. His pacifism and his opposition to rearmament in the face of rising European fascism put him at odds with his party, and when his position was rejected at the 1935 Labour Party conference, he resigned the leadership. He spent his final years travelling through the United States and Europe in the cause of peace and disarmament.

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Commemorated on 3 plaques

39 Bow Road a tribute to George Lansbury who lived for 23 years in the house formerly on this site Mayor of Poplar, Member of Parliament, Minister of the Crown and Privy Councillor he was a great servant of the people of Bow

39 Bow Road, Bow, E3, London, United Kingdom where they was

Childhood home of George Lansbury, MP (1859-1947) "A tireless worker for peace and social justice".

?, Halesworth, United Kingdom where they was

George Lansbury 1859-1940 Member of the Poplar Borough Council 1903-1940 Mayor 1919-20 and 1936-7 Member of Parliament Minister of the Crown Privy Councillor a great servant of the people The house which stood here was his home for 25 years and this garden was created in his memory by public subscription 1955

Pedestal at junction of Bow Road and Hartley Grove, London, United Kingdom where they was