Leeds MPs

HENDERSON, Professor John James Craik(1890 –1971) Conservative. Professor of Mercantile Law.

After graduating from the University of Glasgow in 1914, he shortly afterwards took a commission in the Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) during World War I. On being demobbed he embarked on a successful career in law and public life. He returned to Glasgow University and from 1930–1940 he was Professor of Mercantile Law. With the coming of World War II, from 1939–1940 he was a member of the Conscientious Objectors’ Tribunal for South-West Scotland. When ill health forced the Conservative MP, Sir John Dearman Birchall, to resign from sitting in 1940 for Leeds North East, Henderson was asked to stand in what was hoped to be a walkover as both Liberal and Labour parties said they would not contest the seat. However, the British Union of Fascists decide to do so. It was an embarrassing outcome with Henderson romping home with a majority of 23,160. His defeat in the Labour landslide of 1945 saw his share of the vote plummet from 97.1% down to 37.5%, one of the largest drops ever recorded. For further reading see The Times, 4,6 December 1971; http://www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk