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The Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs, often known as the Campaign Group, is a left-wing, democratic socialist grouping of Labour Party Members of Parliament in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. It was formed in December 1982 as an alternative Parliamentary left-wing group to the Tribune Group.[1] The Campaign Group, as it is commonly known, is often considered on the hard left of the Labour Party[2] and has been highly critical of New Labour.

Before 2017 the Campaign Group was only open to backbench MPs, this was reformed to allow all Member of Parliament to be members but restricted office holders to non-Cabinet/Shadow Cabinet members. It maintains close links with Momentum and other left wing campaign groups within and outside of the party.

Contents

OriginsEdit

The Socialist Campaign Group was founded in 1982 due to fissures in the Labour left, traditionally organised around the Tribune Group. Tony Benn's decision to challenge Denis Healey for the Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party in 1981 was heavily criticised by Labour's leader, Michael Foot[3], who had long been associated with the Labour left and Tribune Group. Tribune Group member and future Labour leader Neil Kinnock led a number of Labour MPs to support John Silkin in the deputy leadership election and abstain in the run-off between Healey and Benn. This sowed the seeds for a split in the left between a "soft left" supportive of Foot's leadership and a dissenting "hard left" organised principally around Benn.[4] The Campaign Group would go on to back Eric Heffer and Michael Meacher in their unsuccessful bids for the leadership and deputy leadership in 1983.[5] The Campaign Group subsequently organised itself around opposition to the direction the party took under the leadership of Kinnock and his successors.[6]

The Socialist Campaign Group's founding members were Norman Atkinson, Tony Benn, Ron Brown, Dennis Canavan, Bob Cryer, Don Dixon, Stuart Holland, Les Huckfield, Bob Litherland, Joan Maynard, Willie McKelvey, Andy McMahon, Bob McTaggart, Michael Meacher, Ray Powell, Reg Race, Allan Roberts, Ernie Roberts, Ernie Ross, Dennis Skinner and John Tilley.[7]

Current membersEdit

Former membersEdit

DeceasedEdit

The following died while still serving in Parliament:

Left ParliamentEdit

These members left Parliament voluntarily, either to retire or for new opportunities elsewhere:

Constituencies abolishedEdit

These members left the Commons in 1983 following the abolition of their constituencies as a result of redrawing of boundaries:

Lost seat in general electionEdit

These members lost their seats in general elections:

ExpelledEdit

The following members were expelled from the Labour Party:

DeselectedEdit

The following members were deselected by their Constituency Labour Parties:

DefectedEdit

In 2005 Brian Sedgemore resigned the Labour Party whip and defected to the Liberal Democrats.

ResignedEdit

The following members resigned their membership of the Campaign Group in 1985 in a show of support for Neil Kinnock's reforms[8]:

The following members resigned their membership of the Campaign Group in 1988 in protest at Tony Benn's decision to challenge Neil Kinnock for the Labour leadership that year[9]:

The following members resigned their membership of the Campaign Group at various points in time when they became front bench spokespersons or members of the government, which was seen as incompatible with membership of the Campaign Group until 2017:

The following members resigned their membership of the Campaign Group for other reasons:

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Patrick Seyd, The Rise and Fall of the Labour Left (1987). London: Macmillan.
  2. ^ McDonnell, John (23 July 2007). "Campaign Group's popular policies". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  3. ^ Andrew Scott Crines, Michael Foot and the Labour Leadership (2011), p. 136. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  4. ^ Dianne Hayter, Fightback!: Labour's Traditional Right in the 1970s and 1980s (2005), p. 21. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  5. ^ Patrick Seyd, The Rise and Fall of the Labour Left (1987), p. 223. London: Macmillan.
  6. ^ Peter Barberis, John McHugh and Mike Tyldesley, Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organization (200), p. 931. London: A&C Black
  7. ^ Patrick Seyd, The Rise and Fall of the Labour Left (1987), p. 222. London: Macmillan.
  8. ^ Richard Heffernan & Mike Marqusee, Defeat from the Jaws of Victory: Inside Kinnock's Labour Party (1992), pp. 124-125. London: Verso.
  9. ^ Andy McSmith, Faces of Labour (1996), p. 224. London: Verso.
  10. ^ Robert Waller, Byron Criddle, The Almanac of British Politics (1999), p. 649. London: Psychology Press.
  11. ^ Robert Waller, Byron Criddle, The Almanac of British Politics (1999), p. 186. London: Psychology Press.