MP John Battle

  1. MP John Battle
    MP for Leeds West

    Battle was born in Bradford and educated at St. Paulinus’ School, a primary school in Dewsbury; St Joseph’s College, Upholland between Skelmersdale and Wigan in Lancashire (a junior seminary - secondary education - for the training of priests in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool), at St. Edward’s College, north London and at the University of Leeds where he gained a BA in English in 1976.

    Battle trained for the priesthood for three years from 1969, however instead he started a career in politics. In 1979 he began to work as a research assistant to Derek Enright, a fellow Catholic and a Member of the European Parliament. Battle gained a seat on the City of Leeds Council in 1980.

    He was chosen to contest the Conservative seat of Leeds North West at the 1983 General Election. Donald Kaberry, the Conservative MP since the constituency’s creation in 1955, was retiring. John Battle lost to a sitting MP in Keith Hampson, whose own seat of Ripon had been abolished.

    After the election, Battle became the national coordinator for Church Action on Poverty. John Battle was selected to fight the seat of Leeds West, which had seen a shock result at the 1983 general election. Joseph Dean had been comfortably re-elected as the Labour MP for Leeds West at the 1979 General Election, with a majority of over 10,000 votes. However, in 1983 he was defeated by the Liberal Michael Meadowcroft to national surprise, for Leeds West had been held by Labour since the war.