Anorak News | We’ve Been Here Before With David Davis And Kelvin McKenzie

We’ve Been Here Before With David Davis And Kelvin McKenzie

by | 20th, June 2008

WHEN press barons take on politics

The prospect of Kelvin Mackenzie standing in Haltemprice and Howden on behalf of Rupert Murdoch reminds Leicestershire historians of the Harborough by-election of 1916. There, though there was a wartime truce between the main parties, the Liberal candidate Percy Harris (now best remembered as Matthew Taylor’s great-grandfather) faced a formidable opponent financed by the press baron Lord Northcliffe.

Thomas Gibson Bowles was the illegitimate son of a cabinet minister, the founder of Vanity Fair and The Lady, and the grandfather of the Mitford sisters. He had sat for King’s Lynn as both a Liberal and a Conservative. He stood in Harborough to protest against the Asquith government’s conduct of the war.

Percy Harris wrote in his memoirs: “The hoardings were covered with Daily Mail posters, ‘Buy Daily Mail and vote for Bowles,’ and a special issue of the Daily Mirror, then in Northcliffe’s hands, was published and delivered free to the voters.”

Harris won…

Posted: 20th, June 2008 | In: Politicians, Tabloids Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink