Elected as a councillor to Deptford Borough Council in 1909, he later became an alderman of the borough and served as Mayor of Deptford from 1920-1922.
In 1931 he was appointed to the London County Council as an alderman, holding the office until 1937, and Chairman of the council's Parliamentary Committee from 1934-1937.
At the 1935 general election he was elected as member of parliament for Deptford, holding the seat until 1945. He was a member of the National Executive of Labour Party, and served as Chairman of the Labour Party in 1941-1942.
In 1946 he returned to the London County Council as an alderman for a second six-year term, and was also appointed to the Metropolitan Water Board.