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23 July 2015

The Returning Officer: Illustrations II

On James Francis Horrabin.

By Stephen Brasher

James Francis Horrabin, born in Peterborough in 1884, started working as a cartoonist on the Sheffield Telegraph in 1906. After fighting with the Queen’s Westminster Rifles in the First World War, he became a founding member of the British Communist Party and was elected as Labour MP for Peterborough in 1929, defeating the Tory Henry Brassey, who had represented the area since 1910. He was an advocate of “socialist geography” and published books such as An Atlas of Current Affairs, a favourite of the Left Book Club.

His cartoons for the Daily News, News Chronicle and Star included The Adventures of the Noah Family, Dot and Carrie (two office girls) and Japhet and Happy (a boy and a bear). In 1937, he hosted what may have been the world’s first current affairs TV show, News Map

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