Monday Club

Administrative / Biographical History

Following Harold Macmillan's 'Winds of change' speech about British policy towards Africa, disaffected Conservative Party members formed themselves into the Monday Club. The Club took its name from the day of Macmillan's speech, 1 January 1961, otherwise known as 'Black Monday'. Primarily a voice for the right wing of the Party, its first meetings were held on Mondays, at the home of the first Chairman, Paul Bristol. The Club was very active in opposing the end of colonial rule in Africa and in particular, campaigned against the sanctions imposed on Southern Rhodesia. During a period of rapid expansion in the late 1960s, the Club began to attract increasingly extreme elements, and meetings held by its university branches often resulted in violent attacks on its speakers (including Patrick Wall MP). In 1973/74 the organisation was purged of National Front supporters and a new administration set up under the chairmanship of John Biggs-Davison MP. However the nature of the Monday Club is such that questions have periodically surfaced about its connections with right-wing and racist groups, such as the British National Party.

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