Allow us to introduce you to one of the most significant events in Twentieth Century local democracy and how local Councillors were jailed for putting their people first.

This story of ordinary people standing firm for their community resonates today, a century later.


In 1921, the recently elected Poplar Borough Council found itself on the wrong end of a ruling by the High Court and a number of Councillors (30) were sent to jail indefinitely for Contempt of Court.

Their Crime? It was a refusal to collect the cross-London precept for the London County Council, the Metropolitan Police, the Metropolitan Asylums Board and the Metropolitan Water Board from their poverty stricken residents.
Read more about theses events on our
History page.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, delivers the 9th Lansbury Memorial Lecture

to mark the Centenary of the Poplar Rates Rebellion.

Date and time - Thursday 18 November 2021 - 18:30 to 20:00 GMT

Location - Skeel Lecture Theatre,

Queen Mary University of London

Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

(Click here to book your place on Eventbrite)


The Hale Street Mural

GOOD NEWS! - It's been completely renovated


2021 is the Centenary of these events. Join the conversation with Daily Tweets and join the Centenary Association on Facebook 


Read some of the History of WH Thompson, Solicitors - A personal history of the firm and its founder.
WH Thompson played a critcal legal role in the defence of the Poplar Councillors in 1921.


This site is supported by the George Lansbury Memorial Trust which was founded in 2012 to commemorate the life, work and legacy of George Lansbury (1859–1940). A pioneering campaigner for peace, women’s rights, local democracy and improvements in labour conditions, Lansbury was an adopted East Ender who made a great contribution to local as well as national life.




George Lansbury, MP for Bow & Bromley, led the Labour Party from 1932–1935 and spent his political life campaigning for social justice, women’s rights and world disarmament. The Lansbury Estate in Poplar is named after him. It was built as part of the 1951 Festival of Britain, as an example of ‘housing for the people’ after the Second World War.