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20th Century Portraits Catalogue

George Nicoll Barnes (1859-1940), Trade unionist and Labour politician; MP for Glasgow

Born in Lochee, Forfarshire, but lived in Middlesex with his family from a young age; became an active member of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers and joined the Independent Labour Party (ILP) on its foundation in 1893; national secretary of the Society for twelve years from 1896; elected for Glasgow Blackfriars (later Gorbals) at the 1906 general election and held the seat until his retirement in 1922; became a major spokesman for Labour, especially during the mobilisation of national resources to fight the First World War; resigned his ministerial post in 1920 and from politics more generally in 1922; continued to support the ILP throughout his retirement and published several books, including his autobiography; died in April 1940 in London.