Named after the first Labour MP to represent East Ham (South), Alfred John Barnes (1887 – November 26, 1974). A local man, having been born in North Woolwich, he was disabled in childhood after losing a leg on a fairground ride. At the 1922 general election he beat the Liberal candidates who had won the newly formed constituency in 1918. He held the seat from 1922 to 1931 and again from 1935 to 1955. With the exception of 1931, when a Conservative captured it, East Ham (South) has been held by Labour at every general election. He stood down in 1955.
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