‘Honoured that you are writing my father’s biography’ the late Tony Benn, ‘...wonderfully written’ Hilary Benn

‘Sparkles with fascinating detail…a remarkable story of Liberal and Labour politics in the first half of the twentieth century.’ Michael Crick, Political Correspondent, Channel 4 News

‘Casts much light both on the evolution of British radicalism, and on the legacy which he bequeathed to his son, Tony. Professor Vernon Bogdanor, King's College, London

‘Brilliant biography…wonderful reading about the father and...discovering more about the son.’ Steve Richards of The Independent

‘Well-written and carefully researched, this fascinating biography brings to life a major figure in British political history…an excellent job of weaving together the strands of a complex life…as well as filling in the background of the Benn family’ Richard Doherty, military historian

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Anniversary of the Croydon NW by-election

Today is the anniversary of the Croydon North West by-election of 1981.

The by-election occurred in the early days of the Liberal-SDP Alliance and was expected to be used as a platform for Shirley Williams to return to the Commons. However, the Liberal candidate from the last three elections, Bill Pitt, was chosen, after some wrangling, to be the Alliance’s candidate.

Pitt won the by-election on a swing of 24.2% from the Conservatives, who had previously held the seat. The by-election attracted a total of 12 candidates, who included Nick Griffin in his first contest and an Anti-Common Market candidate who attracted eleven votes.

Pitt had started out as a Conservative, sat as the Liberal MP for Croydon North West from 1981 to 1983 when he lost the seat and then later became a Labour Party supporter.

Shirley Williams won the Crosby by-election the following month.

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