Puneet Varma

Westminster Abbey by election, 1921

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Start date  August 25, 1921
Westminster Abbey by-election, 1921

The Westminster Abbey by-election, 1921 was a parliamentary by-election held on 25 August 1921 for the British House of Commons constituency of Westminster Abbey in London. The seat had become vacant when the Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) William Burdett-Coutts had died on 28 July 1921. Burdett-Coutts had held the seat since it had been created for the 1918 general election, when he had been returned unopposed.



The Conservative candidate was John Nicholson. The Liberal candidate Arnold Lupton, aged nearly 75, had been a MP from 1906 to January 1910.

British Pathe hold newsreel footage of the three candidates handing in their nomination papers; http://www.britishpathe.com/video/all-anti-wasters/query/antiwaste


At the time the Anti-Waste League was active, and all three candidates claimed to be anti-waste. The League was formed to advance the political ambitions of the newspaper owner Lord Rothermere. He is known in particular, with his brother Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe, for the development of the British newspapers Daily Mail and Daily Mirror - he was a pioneer of popular journalism. The objects of the League were to insist upon measures being taken to restore the country to solvency, urge a wholesale reduction of expenditure, fight the battle of local rates and oppose sham Anti-Waste candidates. There was a growing element both inside and outside the Conservative element of the Coalition Government, that opposed the post-war reconstruction methods adopted by Lloyd George and other leading Liberals in the coalition, notably Christopher Addison, who as Housing Minister had introduced a series of measures to enable local councils to build Council houses. These measures were funded by higher taxation and in accordance with Lloyd George's aim to build a "Land Fit for Heroes".


The Conservative candidate won the election, but the Anti-Waste League, whose candidate Reginald Applin polled respectably.


Nicholson remained the constituency's MP until his death in 1924, when a further by-election was held. Applin became the Conservative MP for Enfield in 1924


Westminster Abbey by-election, 1921 Wikipedia

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