Leeds MPs

BACON, Alice Martha (1909–1993) Labour. Teacher.

She joined the Labour Party when she was sixteen years of age and became an active NUT member. In 1945 she was elected for Leeds North East in the Labour landslide of that year, thus becoming the first woman ever to represent a Leeds constituency. In 1955, as a result of boundary changes, she stood successfully for Leeds South East. She had a distinguished political career, being appointed Minister of State at the Home Office from 1964–1967. She was then appointed Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science from 1967–1970. Well respected in the party, she served on its National Executive from 1941–1970 and was elected chair of the Labour Party from 1950–1951. In 1970 she was created Baroness Bacon of the City of Leeds and of Normanton. Her obituary claimed, ‘She occupied a position of power within the party hierarchy which she used to promote the brand of socialism in which she believed, practical, commonsensical, the art of the possible, continually beating off the more doctrinaire left wing.’ For further reading see The Independent, 29 March 1993.