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Alfred 'James' Wellbeloved M.P. (1926-2012)

Erith By-Election 1965Erith By-election 1965

James Wellbeloved was educated at South London Technical College and was a commercial and industrial correspondent. He served as a councillor on Erith Borough Council, and was the first leader of the London Borough of Bexley from 1964.

Wellbeloved was elected Labour Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Erith and Crayford at a 1965 by-election, (click on image to the right to watch a short film of the by-election - no sound). In 1981, he was among the Labour MPs who defected to the Social Democratic Party. At the 1983 general election, he lost his seat by just 920 votes to the Conservative David Evennett.

After his defection, he was referred to as "the inappropriately named Wellbeloved" by then Labour leader Michael Foot. Wellbeloved later rejoined the Labour Party as a member.

Below is a youtube clip of an audio recording of Prime Minister's questions from December 1981. James Wellbeloved can be heard delivering a question to the then Prime minister, Margaret Thatcher regarding the 'Tatchell Affair'. Also in the clip; Michael Foot, leader of the opposition, and the speaker of the house.

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