John Edwards

(Lewis) John Edwards served alongside Barbara Castle as Member of Parliament for Blackburn from 1945 – 1950.

He was previously a lecturer in Economics at the University of Leeds and served on Leeds City Council. A Trade Union leader as Secretary of the Post Office Engineering Union, he was adopted as one of Blackburn Labour Party’s candidates for the 1945 election and, alongside Barbara Castle, was elected in Labour’s landslide of that year.

In Parliament he served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Stafford Cripps at the Board of Trade then Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Health. At the time of losing his Blackburn seat in 1950, he was Harold Wilson’s Deputy at the Board of Trade.

It wasn’t long before he returned to Parliament in the 1950 Brighouse and Spenborough by-election, then serving as Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, and President of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe.

His career was sadly cut short in 1959 when he died suddenly in Strasbourg while on Council of Europe business. He was 55 years of age.