The Returning Officer: East Fife

The old seat of Prime Minister Asquith heated up in 1918.

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East Fife was the seat of the Liberal prime minister H H Asquith from 1886 to 1918. In 1918, he was defeated by the Tory Colonel Sir Alexander Sprot, who had served in the second Boer war and the First World War. W P Morgan stood as an Independent Progressive, having been the Liberal MP for Merthyr Tydfil (1888-1900) until defeated by Keir Hardie.

At an election meeting in Cupar, when asked about the Kaiser, he replied, as in the Book of Revelation, “He would give him a place in the sun where he would frizzle for ever.” Denying that he had been sent to split the vote by Lloyd George, Morgan said that he favoured Home Rule for Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Stephen Brasher

This article appears in the 19 March 2015 issue of the New Statesman, British politics is broken

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