Leeds MPs

LEUTY, Thomas Richmond (1853 – 1911) Liberal. Linen manufacturer.

Following his father’s death, on reaching 21 Thomas took over Messrs Thomas Leuty & Co. linen manufacturers of Armley, the firm which employed 280 people. Developing an interest in politics, he was elected to the council as Liberal councillor for New Wortley ward in 1882. The Yorkshire Post described him as a ‘militant Congregationalist’ and a ‘Radical of Radicals’. He took a general interest in all matters appertaining to the welfare of the people but at times his radicalism saw people in his own party unhappy with him. In 1888 he left the council returning in 1891 but he was still considered a ‘dark horse’ by the party for the post of mayor. Nevertheless, he was appointed in 1893. In 1892 he contested Leeds North as a Gladstonian Liberal but lost out to W. L. Jackson. However, when J. L. Gane died in 1895 Leuty stood in the by-election for Leeds East and won. He then retained the seat in the general election later that year. He was not happy at Westminster, and in 1900 he retired from public life as ill health had began to dog him. He invited criticism at times, offending many during his mayoralty by attending dinners of the licensed trade as demanded by his position as chief magistrate and he was also condemned in 1898 and 1899 when his dealing in brewery shares was revealed. For further reading see Yorkshire Post, 17, April 1911.