Socialist Campaign Group
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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. The Campaign Group, as it is commonly known, is often considered on the hard left of the Labour Party 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.
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, 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. 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. The Campaign Group subsequently organised itself around opposition to the direction the party took under the leadership of Kinnock and his successors.
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.
- Diane Abbott MP
- Richard Burgon MP
- Ronnie Campbell MP
- Dan Carden MP
- Emma Dent Coad MP
- John Cryer MP
- David Drew MP
- Imran Hussain MP
- Ian Lavery MP
- Karen Lee MP
- Rebecca Long-Bailey MP
- John McDonnell MP
- Ian Mearns MP
- Laura Pidcock MP
- Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP
- Dennis Skinner MP
- Laura Smith MP
- Jon Trickett MP
- Chris Williamson MP
The following died while still serving in Parliament:
- Bob McTaggart (d. 1989)
- Allan Roberts (d. 1990)
- Pat Wall (d. 1990)
- Eric Heffer (d. 1991)
- Bob Cryer (d. 1994)
- Bernie Grant (d. 2000)
- Audrey Wise (d. 2000)
- Tony Banks (d. 2006)
- David Taylor (d. 2009)
These members left Parliament voluntarily, either to retire or for new opportunities elsewhere:
- Joan Maynard (1987)
- Stuart Holland (1989, left Parliament to return to academia)
- Bob Clay (1992)
- Martin Flannery (1992)
- Don Dixon (1997)
- Mildred Gordon (1997)
- Bob Litherland (1997)
- Eddie Loyden (1997)
- Willie McKelvey (1997)
- Robert Parry (1997)
- Tony Benn (2001)
- Maria Fyfe (2001)
- Tess Kingham (2001)
- John McAllion (2001, resigned to focus on his duties as a Member of the Scottish Parliament)
- Bill Michie (2001)
- Harry Barnes (2005)
- Harold Best (2005)
- Terence Lewis (2005)
- Alice Mahon (2005)
- Llew Smith (2005)
- Jimmy Wray (2005)
- Ernie Ross (2005)
- John Austin (2010)
- Michael Clapham (2010)
- Harry Cohen (2010)
- Ann Cryer (2010)
- Bill Etherington (2010)
- Neil Gerrard (2010)
- Lynne Jones (2010)
- Bob Marshall-Andrews (2010)
- Alan Simpson (2010)
- Martin Caton (2015)
- David Hamilton (2015)
- Austin Mitchell (2015)
- Linda Riordan (2015)
- Mike Wood (2015)
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:
- Tony Benn (lost seat 1983, returned to Parliament in 1984)
- Bob Cryer (lost seat 1983, returned to Parliament 1987)
- Eileen Gordon (lost seat 2001)
- John Cryer (lost seat 2005, returned to Parliament in 2010)
- Phil Sawford (lost seat 2005)
- David Drew (lost seat 2010, returned to Parliament in 2017)
- Katy Clark (lost seat 2015)
- Chris Williamson (lost seat in 2015, returned to Parliament in 2017)
The following members were expelled from the Labour Party:
- Ron Brown (expelled in 1991 after he was convicted of criminal damage)
- Terry Fields (expelled in 1991 for his membership of the Militant tendency)
- Dave Nellist (expelled in 1991 for his membership of the Militant tendency)
- Dennis Canavan (expelled in 2000 for running as an independent for the Scottish Parliament)
- Ken Livingstone (expelled in 2000 for running as an independent for Mayor of London; later readmitted to the party)
The following members were deselected by their Constituency Labour Parties:
- Norman Atkinson (deselected 1987)
- Ernie Roberts (deselected 1987)
- John Hughes (deselected 1992)
- Bob Wareing (deselected 2007)
- Frank Cook (deselected 2008)
- Ian Gibson (deselected 2009)
In 2005 Brian Sedgemore resigned the Labour Party whip and defected to the Liberal Democrats.
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:
- Michael Meacher (joined the front bench 1983)
- Ray Powell (joined the front bench 1983)
- Mark Fisher (joined the front bench 1987)
- Paul Boateng (joined the front bench 1989)
- Gavin Strang (joined the front bench 1992)
- Malcolm Chisholm (joined the government 1997)
- Chris Mullin (joined the government 1997)
- Dawn Primarolo (joined the government, but remained a member until 2000)
- Dave Anderson (joined the government 2006)
- John Cryer (elected Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party in 2012, considered a front bench role)
- Kelvin Hopkins (joined the front bench in 2016, whip suspended in 2017)
- Jeremy Corbyn (elected party leader in 2015)
The following members resigned their membership of the Campaign Group for other reasons:
- Patrick Seyd, The Rise and Fall of the Labour Left (1987). London: Macmillan.
- McDonnell, John (23 July 2007). "Campaign Group's popular policies". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
- Andrew Scott Crines, Michael Foot and the Labour Leadership (2011), p. 136. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
- Dianne Hayter, Fightback!: Labour's Traditional Right in the 1970s and 1980s (2005), p. 21. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
- Patrick Seyd, The Rise and Fall of the Labour Left (1987), p. 223. London: Macmillan.
- Peter Barberis, John McHugh and Mike Tyldesley, Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organization (200), p. 931. London: A&C Black
- Patrick Seyd, The Rise and Fall of the Labour Left (1987), p. 222. London: Macmillan.
- Richard Heffernan & Mike Marqusee, Defeat from the Jaws of Victory: Inside Kinnock's Labour Party (1992), pp. 124-125. London: Verso.
- Andy McSmith, Faces of Labour (1996), p. 224. London: Verso.
- Robert Waller, Byron Criddle, The Almanac of British Politics (1999), p. 649. London: Psychology Press.
- Robert Waller, Byron Criddle, The Almanac of British Politics (1999), p. 186. London: Psychology Press.