John Appleyard, political agent

John Appleyard
John Appleyard
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John Appleyard, who has died at 68, was a veteran Labour Party campaigner, local historian, and prolific letter writer to the columns of newspapers.

A lifelong socialist who spent his formative years in Kirkstall, Leeds, he was an election agent and editor of the Labour publication, the Leeds Weekly Citizen, working closely with Denis Healey and later the MPs Mike Wood, Tracy Brabin and the late Jo Cox.

An active trade unionist, he was awarded a small miners’ lamp in recognition of his support during the 1984 strike.

Having taken early retirement from Leeds Council, he became active in the Spen Valley Civic Society and the Friends of Red House Museum in Gomersal, as well as chairing various committees.

He had a special interest in the history of the Luddite and Chartist movements and of the Brontë family, and was also a musician – though he gave up playing lead guitarist in a band to concentrate on politics.