The Returning Officer: Holderness

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Aline Mackinnon stood for the Liberals in Holderness in the 1931 and 1935 elections and in a 1939 by-election that was caused by the death of the Tory MP Samuel Savery. Mr Sewell, the Liberals’ agent, said: “With the split in the Conservative ranks, we believe we have a splendid chance.”

The split was caused by the candidacy of the farmer and cricketer Raleigh Chichester-Constable. Mackinnon, who had helped people to flee from the Nazis, offered to stand down for an independent progressive if Labour did, too, but there was no agreement. Speaking for Mackinnon, Isaac Foot said: “The tragedy in Europe [is] there are refugees who have no refuge.” 

This article appears in the 14 April 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The making of a monster

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