Morgan Jones - Man of Conscience

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'Morgan Jones was a significant Labour figure, from his 1921 Caerphilly by-election victory as a conscientious objector to his service as an education minister in the first two Labour Governments. Wayne David deserves great credit for bringing Morgan Jones to life in this well-researched and very readable book.'
Nick Thomas-Symonds MP

'Wayne David writes of one of his predecessors as Labour MP for Caerphilly with the understanding of the political insider and the contextual knowledge of the historian. He places Morgan Jones at the heart of the maelstrom which was the south Wales coalfield in the first half of the last century, and with lucidity and empathy, he creates a      life-story narrative which neglects neither the personal dilemmas nor the lasting social and political achievements of his fascinating subject.'
Professor Dai Smith

'Jones was a man of principle and pragmatism whose story in many ways reflects the journey of the Labour Party during its life thus far ... As our movement’s history, and Morgan Jones’ extraordinary life teach us, it is when we combine the two that we are able to change the world.'
Hilary Benn MP, from his Foreword

Imprisoned in Wormwood Scrubs for his pacifist beliefs during the First World War, Morgan Jones made history by becoming the first conscientious objector to be elected an MP when he won the Caerphilly by-election for Labour in 1921.

In Morgan Jones - Man of Conscience, the first biography of this remarkable politician, Wayne David explains how Jones became a pioneering education minister in the 1924 and 1929-31 Labour Governments - being amongst the first to articulate the need for free, ‘comprehensive’ secondary education for all - and how he was a tireless campaigner against injustice, supporting many causes at home and abroad from Welsh devolution to the establishment of a Jewish homeland.

Published on the 80th anniversary of his death in 1939, aged only 53, Wayne David’s Morgan Jones - Man of Conscience for the first time reveals the full story of Jones’ political journey from Rhymney Valley radical to parliamentary pragmatist who, after witnessing the rise of  fascism in Europe and the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, finally rejected pacifism in favour of military action to defend democracy from the evils of Nazism.

Wayne David has been the Labour MP for  Caerphilly since 2001. He has been a Wales Office minister and a government whip, and is currently a shadow minister for defence. Prior to elected politics, he was a lecturer with the WEA.


Introduction by Wayne David

Foreword by Hilary Benn MP


1. The Early Years
2. Opposition to the First World War
3. The Caerphilly by-election of 1921
4. MP and Education Minister
5. Westminster and Wales
6. The Internationalist
7. The West Indies and the Last Year

Select Bibliography