Leslie Lever

[Baron Lever]

Biography of Leslie Lever

Leslie Maurice Lever, Baron Lever (29 April 1905–26 July 1977) was a British Labour politician. He was Member of Parliament for Manchester Ardwick from 1950 to 1970, when he retired. Subsequently, he was given a life peerage as Baron Lever, of Ardwick in the City of Manchester in 1975.

He was educated at Manchester Grammar School and read Law at Leeds University. He was a solicitor and poor man's lawyer between 1928 and the advent of Legal Aid in 1948, funding his impecunious clients' cases out of his own pocket if they lost. His younger sister and three younger brothers were all lawyers, his brother Harold also being a Member of Parliament. He was a notable Lord Mayor of Manchester (1957–58) famous in his year of office for attending 2,700 official engagements. His political career both as a councillor and member of Parliament representing inner city slum areas was more concerned with defending the poor than conventional party politics. His other principal interests were denominational education and proper pensions for war widows and limbless ex servicemen. He was knighted by Pope John XXIII and by Pope Paul VI (Knight Grand Cross of St Gregory the Great) in the 1960s and by the Queen in 1970 for his philanthropic work. He died in Manchester aged 72.

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