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 AvatarWilliam Hobhouse 3rd Mar - 7:53pm
    We turned into Wagstaffe Street. My colleague rang the first doorbell. A man answered. 'Good afternoon Mr Wagstaffe', he said.
  • User AvatarRuth Bright 3rd Mar - 7:45pm
    I prayed that Mark Smulian would tell that story and verily my prayers have been answered!!
  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 3rd Mar - 7:34pm
    Stuart as well !!! If Simon Shaw now agrees with Stuart Moran, I will know I am dreaming!
  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 3rd Mar - 7:31pm
    JohnTilley 3rd Mar '15 - 6:35pm "paul barker 3rd Mar ’15 – 5:35pm Yes you are right." Sorry, I saw the above post in the...
  • User Avatarstuart moran 3rd Mar - 7:19pm
    paul barker well said.....I am all for respecting history but I think your post breaks through some of the flummery!
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 3rd Mar - 7:13pm
    Dav, You are right to argue that electronic voting done from the convenience of an MP's office is too liable to interference by the whip....