A leading member of the Manchester Liberals between the wars, Simon first rose to prominence as a Manchester City councillor (1912-25). He initiated a major slum clearance programme and new housing projects. In the 1920s and 30s Simon was active in developing Liberal political thought. He was a director of the Liberal Summer School and brought his industrial experience to bear as Vice Chairman of the Liberal Industrial Inquiry which resulted in the famous Yellow Book of 1928. Briefly Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Health in the National Government his career ended with the loss of his seat in 1931. Disillusioned with the Liberals, Simon joined the Labour Party in 1946 and went to the House of Lords as Baron Simon of Wythenshawe. From 1947 to 1952 Simon served as Chairman of the BBC Board of Governors.