John Bright was actually a Rochdale boy born in 1811 the son of a wealthy cotton manufacturer. After school he worked in his father's business but he also became prominent in local politics and in the campaign against the Corn Laws. He was known as a passionate public speaker and in 1843 he became the MP for Durham. He along with Richard Cobden was given credit for eventually repealing the Corn Laws but Bright's campaigning zeal wasn't satisfied and he faught a number of controversial issues including universal sufferage and the secret ballot. He was a quaker and a strong aponent of slavery. Bright served in the cabinet of Prime Miniter Gladstone whose staue stand just yards away from Bright's in Albert Square. Not all of his views were popular and on one occasion he was burned in effigy in Manchester. However today you will find two statues of the man, one inside the town hall and one by W. Theed depicting him with scroll in hand looking at the town hall.