The Returning Officer: Accrington

Returning Officer

The Territorial Army (TA) was founded as a result of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907, the work of the then war minister, Lord Haldane. He wrote the introduction to The Territorial Force: a Manual of Its Law, Organisation and Administration by Harold Baker in 1909. The next year, Baker was elected as the Liberal MP for Accrington and became Haldane’s PPS. He lost the seat to the Coalition Conservative Ernest Gray, a TA major, in 1918.

In 1931, the Tory Major H A Procter won the seat. He became the president of the Film Artistes’ Association for extras in 1935, saying that “useful work was to be done in maintaining the wage standard of lower-salaried film artists”.

This article first appeared in the 23 July 2014 issue of the New Statesman, Summer Double 2014

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Tony Blair won't endorse the Labour leader - Jeremy Corbyn's fans are celebrating

The thrice-elected Prime Minister is no fan of the new Labour leader. 

Labour heavyweights usually support each other - at least in public. But the former Prime Minister Tony Blair couldn't bring himself to do so when asked on Sky News.

He dodged the question of whether the current Labour leader was the best person to lead the country, instead urging voters not to give Theresa May a "blank cheque". 

If this seems shocking, it's worth remembering that Corbyn refused to say whether he would pick "Trotskyism or Blairism" during the Labour leadership campaign. Corbyn was after all behind the Stop the War Coalition, which opposed Blair's decision to join the invasion of Iraq. 

For some Corbyn supporters, it seems that there couldn't be a greater boon than the thrice-elected PM witholding his endorsement in a critical general election. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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