Ernie Roberts

Ernest Alfred Cecil Roberts (20 April 1912 – 28 August 1994) was a British Labour Party politician. He worked for the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers and was MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington from 1979 until 1987.

Early life

Ernie Roberts left elementary school in Shrewsbury at the age of thirteen, having declined a scholarship to the Shrewsbury School of Art, to work in a coal mine to help support ultimately ten siblings. He was an engineering worker for many years, much blacklisted and dismissed for union activities, until he became Assistant General Secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers in 1957. He was very much on the left wing of the Labour Party.[1]

Political career

After unsuccessfully fighting Stockport South in United Kingdom general election, 1955, Roberts was elected Member of Parliament for the inner London constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington at age 67, according to his obituary writer Frank Allaun the oldest new entrant MP since the Second World War,[1] (although John McQuade who also took his only Westminster seat at the same election was eight months his senior). He served from 1979 general election until 1987 general election, when he was deselected in favour of Diane Abbott.[2]


He married Joyce Longley in 1953, and had a son and two daughters.[3]


  • Workers' Control (Allen & Unwin 1973)
  • 労働者支配制 (Workers' Control Japanese edition) (1975)
  • Unemployment - The Facts (Part-author) (Spokesman Books)
  • Humanising the Work-place (Part-author) (Crook & Helm)
  • The solution is Workers Control (pamphlet) (Spokesman Books)
  • Democracy in the Engineering Union (Part-author) (IWC)
  • Strike Back (Autobiography, with forewords by Tony Benn and Arthur Scargill) (posthumously published 1994)


  1. ^ a b Frank Allaun (31 August 1994). "Obituary: Ernest Roberts". The Independent. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Ernie Roberts". Working Class Movement Library. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  3. ^ Who's Who 1987

External links

Trade union offices
Preceded by
Cecil Hallett
Assistant General Secretary of the Amalgamated Engineering Union
Succeeded by
Bob Wright
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Weitzman
Hackney North and Stoke Newington
Succeeded by
Diane Abbott

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