photo credits: Wikimedia Commons
British politician; founder of the British Union of Fascists (1896-1980)wd:Q332400
country of citizenship: United Kingdom
language of expression: English
educated at: Winchester College, West Downs School, Royal Military College, Sandhurst
occupation: politician, aircraft pilot
position held: Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Member of the 35th Parliament of the United Kingdom, Member of the 34th Parliament of the United Kingdom, Member of the 33rd Parliament of the United Kingdom, Member of the 32nd Parliament of the United Kingdom, Member of the 31st Parliament of the United Kingdom
Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, 6th Baronet (16 November 1896 – 3 December 1980) was a British politician who rose to fame in the 1920s as a Member of Parliament and later in the 1930s, having become disillusioned with mainstream politics, became the leader of the British Union of Fascists (BUF). Mosley had not been knighted, but he was the sixth baronet, with a title that had been in his family for more than a century at his father's death on 21 September 1928.After military service during the First World War, Mosley was one of the youngest Members of Parliament, representing Harrow from 1918 to 1924, first as a Conservative, then an independent, before joining the Labour Party. At the 1924 general election he stood in Birmingham Ladywood against future Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, coming within 100 votes of beating him.
Mosley returned to Parliament as Labour MP for Smethwick at a by-election in 1926 and served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the Labour Government of 1929–31. He was considered a potential Labour Prime Minister but resigned because of discord with the Government's unemployment policies. He chose not to defend his Smethwick constituency at the 1931 general election, instead unsuccessfully standing in Stoke-on-Trent. Mosley's New Party became the British Union of Fascists (BUF) in 1932.
Mosley was imprisoned in May 1940, and the BUF was banned. He was released in 1943 and, politically disgraced by his association with fascism, moved abroad in 1951, spending most of the remainder of his life in Paris. He stood for Parliament during the postwar era but received very little support. In 2005, historians for the BBC History magazine named Mosley the 'Worst' historical Briton of the 20th century.
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