Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Milner Gibson was first elected to parliament for Ipswich as a Conservative. However, his time in parliament convinced him of the need for the abolition of the Corn Laws. In 1839 he joined the Whigs and resigned his seat to fight in his new political colours. He lost by six votes but two years later he was elected for Manchester. By now firmly on the radical wing of the party, Milner Gibson campaigned for free trade and for the removal of taxes on newspapers, working in close co-operation with the Chancellor, W.E. Gladstone. Milner Gibson served in the governments of both Russell and Palmerston as Vice-President and later President of the Board of Trade. Milner Gibson was a noted amateur yachtsman and it was on board his yacht Resolute that he died while sailing off Algiers.