Leeds MPs

ARMITAGE, Robert (1866–1944) Liberal. Company director.

He was director of several companies which included the Yorkshire Electric Power Company, several mining companies which included Hickleton Main, Markham Main, Brodsworth Main and Llay Main collieries and was chairman of Brown and Bayley’s Steel Works. He was elected as councillor for Bramley Ward in 1904 and that same year was chosen lord mayor. In the Conservative debacle of 1906 he succeeded in winning Leeds Central for the Liberals, the first time the seat had been won by the party. Twice he fought off spirited challenges from John Gordon of the Conservatives in the 1910 general elections but saw his majority tumble from 621 to 350. However, he registered a substantial victory as a Coalition Liberal in 1918 but emphatically lost his seat in1922 coming third. He proved to be a conscientious MP but, not being a first-rate public speaker, rarely addressed the house. For further reading see Yorkshire Post, 11 February 1944.