Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. UK Politics
6 August 2014

The Returning Officer: Liverpool Fairfield

Returning Officer

By Stephen Brasher

The constituency of Liverpool Fairfield was created for the 1918 general election. The coalition coupon was granted to the Liberal Captain Frank L’Estrange Joseph but he was opposed by the Unionist Major Jack Benn Brunel Cohen. Cohen, whose family ran the Lewis’s chain of department stores, had lost both legs at the third battle of Ypres in 1917. During the campaign, Cohen’s supporters suggested that Joseph was “posing as a military man”, as his commission had been given to him on his appointment to the recruiting division of the War Office, and asked if he had ever offered himself to the army. Cohen won and attended parliament in a wheelchair. In 1924, his Labour opponent was May Mercer. At the 1922 ILP conference, she had asked Philip Snowden about the lack of women candidates for the next election. He replied that it “was entirely a matter for local branches”. 
Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.