Seely started out as a Conservative but crossed the floor and joined the Liberals in 1904 after the Tories’ espousal of Tarrif Reform. He was MP for the Isle of Wight 1900-06 and 1923-24, Liverpool Abercromby 1906-10 and Ilkeston 1910-22. He served in Asquith’s cabinet as Secretary of State for War. He was forced to resign following his handling of the ‘Curragh mutiny’. He served with distinction in the First World War and later returned to government under Lloyd George.