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Early Political Career

(page 1 of 3)
Audio: Turning point 1926
Duration: 00:01:14
Date: 1982
Supporters of Jennie Lee's 1929 election campaign in North Lanark. They are probably ILP (Independent Labour Party) members.
Image : Jennie Lee supporters, North Lanark, 1929
Date: 1929

During her university years, one of Jennie’s main interests was her involvement in the socialist movement in Lochgelly. Her parents had moved back to Lochgelly - the town where Jennie was born - and she joined them there after finishing university.  

The General Strike of 1926 had worsened already poor conditions for the miners and Jennie became a strong speaker at Communist and Socialist meetings and was popular with audiences.

In the audio clip on this page, Jennie describes the events of 1926 as a major turning point in her life and her activities, leading to an offer to stand for a seat in the House of Commons in 1929.

When Jennie was asked to stand for election representing North Lanark, she was 23, still not old enough to vote herself at that time.

This typed letter to women electors of Lanarkshire by Jennie shows her passion for the issues facing the area. At the end of the second paragraph she has added a handwritten note of “safeguard your home” – her tone was militant – people had to use their vote to get what they wanted.

Early Political Career (page 1 of 3)