Lunn, William, MP

Trade unionist and politician, born at Rothwell, near Leeds on 1 November 1872. Son of a coal miner and a PM of several generations, at 12 he became a coal miner like his father and soon became involved in union politics. At 19 he succeeded his father as branch president of the Yorkshire Miners' Association and at 27 was elected checkweighman at Middleton colliery. He also became active in Labour politics and in 1918 was elected MP for Rothwell, a seat he held until his death in 1942. His PM background and his advocacy of temperance helped to mould his personality and gave him experience in public speaking.Though his focus as an MP was the interests of his working-class constituents, he also had an interest in overseas affairs and was parliamentary secretary for trade in 1924, under-secretary of state for the colonies between 1929 and 1931, and chairman of the overseas settlement committee and vice-chairman of the Empire Marketing Board. He died at Leeds on 17 May 1942. His wife Louise (née Harrison), also from Rothwell, was also politically active, especially in the West Riding, where she became a JP in 1922

  • Oxford DNB