Oswald Mosley (1896-1980), Politician; Fascist leader
Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Bt
Sitter in 17 portraits
Mosley became Conservative MP for Harrow in 1918, but left the party over its Irish policy in 1920 and stood as an Independent in 1922. In 1924 he joined the Labour Party and won Smethwick in 1926, having supported the miners in the General Strike. He resigned when his economic policies were rejected and started the New Party. Their meetings were policed by a squad of stewards, known as the 'blackshirts'. After visiting Italy, where he met Benito Mussolini, he founded the British Union of Fascists. In 1936 Mosley married, in Hitler's presence, Diana Guinness, sister of Unity Mitford. The couple were interned from 1940 to 1943 and spent the rest of World War II under house arrest.