Born in Yorkshire, Barton was educated in Bradford before entering employment. In 1912 he joined the Transport Salaried Staffs Association. In 1944 he was president of the union.
He moved to Wembley in Middlesex, and in 1934 was elected to the local urban district council. When Wembley became a borough in 1937 he continued as a member of the town council, as a councillor from 1937-42 and then as an alderman from 1942-49. He served as Mayor of Wembley from 1942-43, the first member of the Labour Party to hold the post.
At the 1945 general election he was elected member of parliament for the newly-created constituency of Wembley South, although he lost his seat at the next election in 1950.
He retired from politics to live in Saltdean near Brighton on the Sussex coast. He died there in 1957 aged 65.
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