Are there more ex-SDP members on the Tory front-bench than the Lib Dem front-bench?

Danny Finkelstein asks the question over at The Times’s Comment Central here. Scores on the doors (allegedly) so far show it to be a draw…

Tory shadow cabinet ex-SDPers: Greg Clark, Chris Grayling, Andrew Lansley and David Mundell.
Lib Dem shadow cabinet ex-SDPers: Vince Cable, Chris Huhne, Tom McNally and Paul Burstow

Or can LDV readers point out more…?

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12 Comments

  • Norman Lamb was. David Howarth may have been, considering he was elected as a councillor in 1987.

    It also depends whether you count Charles Kennedy as on the frontbench – there was that thing about him speaking for the party on Europe.

  • Let’s not forget the likes of Daniel Finkelstein.

  • Who cares! We’ve just won six out of sEven council by-elections yesterday.

  • Actually the most social democratic party in Britain today is the continuing Liberals (Liberal Democrat equivalent of the St Pious X Society). The great irony is that they were set up prevent ‘liberalism being diluted by social democracy’. Common Wealth was remember the result of a schism within liberalism.

  • And, famously, Rob Wilson (formerly on the Tory front bench but demoted to be a junior Whip, stood as an SDP candidate, but denies involvement.

  • David Boothroyd 31st Jan '09 - 12:34pm

    Stephen O’Brien, Conservative MP for Eddisbury and Shadow Health Minister, was also in the SDP.

  • Of course there is a continuity SDP that has a councillor or two in Bridlington.

  • What about Mike Moore? I thought I read somewhere once that he was an SDP man?

    Interesting also is that there are more SDP people in junior roles or backbenches than in the shadow cabinet – Tom Brake, Mike Hancock, Evan Harris (joined both I believe), Charles Kennedy, Mark Oaten, Paul Holmes, Bob Russell, Roger Williams – does anyone have a full breakdown of the MP’s previous allegiances and how many are genuinely unalligned/post-mergerites?!

  • Matthew Harris 5th Feb '09 - 12:26pm

    Yes, in just the Shadow Cabinet (and so leaving aside the wider front bench), Stephen Williams and Roger Williams are both ex-SDP. I thought also maybe Steve Webb?

    I was a young Liberal (although not in NLYL; I joined the grown-up party, if such a thing can ever be said about the Liberal Party) when a youthful Danny Finkelstein was the SDP/Liberal Alliance candidate for nearby Brent East!

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