The Returning Officer: Enid Lapthorn

The 1929 Liberal candidate for Hitchen throws an "American shower party".

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Enid Lapthorn’s father was the Liberal candidate for Portsmouth North in 1922. The party chose her to stand at Hitchin for the 1929 general election at Brotherhood Hall, Letchworth; she was described as “a good candidate in sympathy with modern movements”. It was reported that Lapthorn and her agent held an “American shower party” to open the Liberal HQ: “The premises were emptied of all furniture and guests were invited to bring any gift, from a roll-top desk to a duster.”

In 1938, she wrote to Neville Chamberlain on behalf of the Liberal women’s executive, noting that his efforts to avoid war deserved “the gratitude of the entire nation”.

This article appears in the 28 July 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Summer Double Issue