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Margaret Bondfield (1873-1953)

Margaret Bondfield (1873-1953) worked first as a pupil teacher in Chard, Somerset and then as a shop assistant in Brighton and London. She became active in the National Union of Shop Assistants, Warehousemen and Clerks and spoke on socialist platforms in the 1890s. She was assistant secretary of the union 1898-1908 and a TUC delegate in 1899. She became a close friend of Mary Macarthur and worked with her in the Women's Trade Union League, the National Federation of Women Workers and the Adult Suffrage Society. From 1911, she was organising secretary of the Women's Labour League.

She opposed World War I and attended international peace conferences. From 1921-1938, she was the chief women's officer of the National Union of General and Municipal Workers. Between September 1923- January 1924, she was the first woman Chair of the TUC General Council, but resigned on being appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour in the first Labour Government. She was MP for Northampton 1923-24 and for Wallsend 1926-1931. She became the first woman Cabinet Minister and Privy Councillor when she was appointed Minister of Labour in the 1929 Labour Government, but became unpopular due to her unemployment policies and cuts in public expenditure.

Title Margaret Bondfield (1873-1953)
Maker --
Production Date 1921
Format Photograph
Copyright Alpha Photographic Press
Holding Institution TUC Library Collections, London Metropolitan University
Related Objects --
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