Born in May 1932 and educated at Cafield secondary school in Sheffield and then at Rotherham college of technology, Morton was strongly associated with the Communist Party in Sheffield, having joined it in 1950.
He was an engineering worker and convenor of shop stewards at the major plant and Communist stronghold of Shardlow’s. He was also chair of the Smith’s Group national joint shop stewards’ committee in the 1960s, a role which brought him great respect in the careful manner in which he managed political tensions.
The first CND workplace branch in the country was established in Shardlows by two Communist AEU members and a Labour Party member. By October 1961, it was 75 members strong.
A member of the Executive Committee of the Communist Party from 1965, he contested Burngreave ward that year polling 6.7% of the vote. The following year, he tried
Sheffield Park constituency, securing 1,022 votes or 3.3% of the total; he for Parliamentary seats in 1970 and the first 1974 election.
In 1976, along with two other key engineering leaders of the Party, Jimmy Reid and John Tocher, Morton resigned from the Party. All three had all been members of the Political Committee at one time or another. All three probably left out of a sense that the Party was not poised to take off significantly and that its former key role as a powerhouse of industrial militancy was about to fall apart. More crudely, some have assigned personal career-based motives to the trio, who were all AUEW members. A fourth AUEW activist, Bernard Panter, also left the Party at this time.
One of Morton’s election leaflets can be viewed here:
Be the first to comment