The Returning Officer: Trouble in Worcester

In 1892, George Allsopp was re-elected as Worcester’s Tory MP, with J T Rushton coming third.

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In 1892, George Allsopp was re-elected as Worcester’s Tory MP, with J T Rushton coming third. Rushton had been a Conservative councillor but was disqualified in 1881 for bribery relating to a local election; he later got back in. An election petition was raised against Allsopp but it failed and Rushton was burned in effigy while a band played “Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay”.

In December 1892, Henry Dovey sued Seth Robinson for assault when he visited the (Tory) Constitutional Club. The assault was allegedly linked to Dovey’s support for Rushton. When he was told that Rushton had stood as an independent, the judge said that if someone was ejected from a political club after changing his views, “They could not be surprised.” 

This article appears in the 11 June 2015 issue of the New Statesman, Who owns the future?

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