Papers relating to the Labour Solidarity Campaign

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Papers collected by Dianne Hayter during research for her book 'Fightback' (pub 2005)

Administrative / Biographical History

The Labour Party Solidarity Campaign (LPSC/ LSC) was founded on 17th February 1981 in the House of Commons as a result of the special Labour Party Conference held at Wembley earlier that month. The Conference called for the urgent need for an organisation which would maintain the traditional values and ideals of a democratic Labour Party, prevent the loss of support to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and counteract the activities of the undemocratic left within the Party.

The LSC was set up (see U DX315/1) to maintain the progress of the Labour party at a time when the party appeared likely to tear itself apart. Their aim was to be able to produce a Labour Party with effective socialist policies to counteract the 'disaster of Thatcherism' and to lift the party from the point of 'mortal danger of death from self-inflicted wounds'. The chairmen of the party were Roy Hattersley and Peter Shore, the secretary and the treasurer were Ken Woolmer and Austin Mitchell, respectively.

After the General Election in 1983 Parliamentary Labour Solidarity (PLS) was set up by a group of MPs. Their aim was to work and campaign for the earliest possible return of the Labour Government and to ensure within the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) the continued propagation of and representation for, mainstream Labour views.

By 1988 the aim of the LSC was to re-create Labour as a party of government to rally round the leadership as they fought the 'one battle that really matters'- the campaign for victory at the next election. By June 1988 the decision to dissolve the LSC was reached and was published on the 28 June 1988. Dissolution was agreed upon due to the achievement of their original aims.

Arrangement

Within these papers there are unavoidable duplications of various articles and correspondence, with some items containing original annotation. The bundles of documents also appear to start with the most recent date, running in reverse order (for example, they start in 1988 and end with documents from 1981).

Conditions Governing Access

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Custodial History

These papers were compiled by Dianne Hayter during 2001-2003 for the research of her book, Fightback! Labour's traditional right in the 1970s and 1980s (2005), and were donated to the University of Hull archives in 2006. Dianne Hayter was active in Labour politics throughout the 1980s and since 1998 has served as part of the Labour Party National Executive Committee (NEC) and is a former Chief Executive of the European Parliamentary Labour Party and General Secretary of the Fabian Society.

This collection includes some of the original papers (and press cuttings) from Dianne Hayter's private papers and from John Speller and Ira Walters papers (both EEPTU staff (Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications and Plumbing Union): papers given to Dianne Hayter, 2001; some marked "Bromley"). They also contain some original papers from the private papers of the late John Grant, given to Dianne Hayter by his widow, Mrs Pat Grant, 2001/02, some press cuttings given to Dianne Hayter by David Webster and papers from Mary Goudie's correspondence, the then LSC National Organsier (now Baroness Goudie, Life Peer in the House of Lords appointed in 1998). The documents also include extracts from the original documents held at Hull.

Related Material

DRH Papers of Roy Hattersley

Bibliography

Hayter, D. 'Fightback! Labour's traditional right in the 1970s and 1980s' (2005)