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Out of power, 1931-1935

"Parliament is Impossible" article by Ellen Wilkinson

Parliamentary Archives, LG/H/384

At the general election of 1931, Ellen Wilkinson lost her seat in Middlesborough to a Liberal candidate. The defeat hit Wilkinson hard, and she frequently spoke of her devastation to be out of Parliament.

What work did Wilkinson do whilst out of power?

During the early 1930s, Wilkinson earned a living by lecturing and writing a number of books. Her powerful, accessible and persuasive writing made her a natural journalist, and she contributed frequently to papers including the Daily Herald, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Express, amongst many others. In 1931 she was guest Parliamentary correspondent for the Daily Express, and she frequently criticised MPs in the House of Commons. Alongside her writing, Wilkinson continued her work as an active campaigner. She used her writing platforms to challenges the inequalities affecting women's lives, and spoke regularly at conferences and public meetings.

Wilkinson's articles and publications caught the attention of politicians including David Lloyd George, who maintained a file of her press cuttings. These files are now held in the Parliamentary Archives.

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