Saklatvala, Communist MP

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  • Intro

    In 1922, Shapurji Saklatvala was elected to parliament with a majority of 2,000 for North Battersea, a largely working-class constituency.

     

    Saklatvala came to Britain in 1905 to work for his maternal uncle, the pioneering industrialist J N Tata in Manchester. An active trade unionist, Saklatvala campaigned against both Capitalism and Colonialism to improve the condition of labour in Britain and India.

     

    A formidable orator, he addressed meetings all over Britain, championing workers’ rights during the years of the Depression. He also campaigned for Indian independence in and out of parliament.

     

    Popular among his Battersea constituents, he was re-elected on a Communist ticket in 1924, the only Communist Party of Great Britain candidate to succeed. In 1926, during the General Strike, he was imprisoned for a speech in Hyde Park. He lost his seat in 1929, as he was no longer in touch with the aspirations of his constituents.

     

    Shelfmark: Mss Eur D 1173/6

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