Tag Archives: trevor jones

RIP Pratap Chitnis

In memory of Pratap Chitnis, we reproduce below Mark Pack’s tribute to an unjustly forgotten Liberal Hero. The Guardian’s obituary is here.

Pratap (later Lord) Chitnis was the post-war Liberal Party’s first grassroots campaigning mastermind, whose pioneering activities laid the groundwork for the later work of better known people such as Trevor Jones and Chris Rennard.

Born in 1936 to a family with a history of Liberal politics (his grandfather stood and lost in 1906), he was inspired by Jo Grimond to join the Liberal Party himself in 1958. Chitnis first worked in the National Liberal Club’s library and then …

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Chris Rennard writes… Marking the great Sutton and Cheam by-election victory with Sir Trevor Jones

Just over forty years ago, the Liberal Party was on 8.5% in the polls. The chair of the London Young Liberals, Graham Tope, was the party’s candidate for the Sutton and Cheam parliamentary by-election. Few people believed that a Liberal win was possible.  We had come third in 1970, some 17,000 votes behind the Conservatives.

Some people prominent in the national party were dismissive of the ‘community politics’ campaign that was brought to the by-election by a Liverpool Councillor called Trevor Jones.  Possibly the first ‘Focus’ leaflets outside Liverpool were produced for that by-election promoting the local Liberal campaigning led by …

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Forgotten Liberal heroes: Pratap Chitnis

Listen to Liberal Democrats make speeches and there are frequent references to historical figures, but drawn from a small cast. Just the quartet of John Stuart Mill, William Gladstone, David Lloyd George, David Penhaligon corner almost all of the market, especially since Bob Maclennan stopped making speeches to party conference. Some of the forgotten figures deserve their obscurity but others do not. Charles James Fox’s defence of civil liberties against a dominating government during wartime or Earl Grey’s leading of the party back into power and major constitutional reform are good examples of mostly forgotten figures who could

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  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 16th Sep - 2:16pm
    Roland, yes, I'm seeing this coming up time and time again, this claim that high house prices are just due to "the English planning system",...
  • User Avatarmatt 16th Sep - 2:14pm
    @MBoy "A hilarious way to totally bankrupt local government every time house prices rise." Firstly I do not agree with the Right to buy policy...
  • User AvatarPeter Chegwyn 16th Sep - 2:03pm
    Caron. You talk about 'being chased by thugs in Chesterfield'. I've also been chased by thugs in Chesterfield when I was the Liberal-SDP Alliance Agent...
  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 16th Sep - 2:02pm
    By the way, Sara: 1) Housing isn't the only part of the so-called "cost of living crisis", though it's surely a big one. Fuel costs...
  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 16th Sep - 2:00pm
    As long as Right to Buy discounts exist, building new housing is a mug's game for Councils. Odd, isn't it, that these Tory bribes were...
  • User AvatarTim13 16th Sep - 1:51pm
    Hear hear, John