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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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Evans 4th Oct - 7:54pm
    Ah John There's the difference. You believe in PR. I believe in Liberal Democracy and building and safeguarding a fair, free and open society. PR...
  • User AvatarColin 4th Oct - 7:53pm
    From all the evidence it seems that Scotland will start to untangle itself from the Union after 2020. I'm sad to see them go, but...
  • User AvatarSimon McGrath 4th Oct - 7:29pm
    What a great speeech
  • User AvatarHireton 4th Oct - 7:29pm
    @cllr Mark Wright Actually Scotland's is using the useful powers it has despite Carons claim that it isn't. It's income tax powers to date have...
  • User AvatarANMAW 4th Oct - 7:27pm
    "She says that there is no point waiting for the UK to sort out a federal structure...because it's not going to happen anytime soon." Perhaps...
  • User AvatarRoland 4th Oct - 7:26pm
    "A Liberal Democrat government should set a target for council house building of 200,000 by the end of the second year of government." Much more...