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Richard Wainwright, the Liberals and Liberal DemocratsUnfinished Business$
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Matt Cole

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780719082535

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719082535.001.0001

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The Lib-Lab Pact

The Lib-Lab Pact

(p.173) 12 The Lib-Lab Pact
Richard Wainwright, the Liberals and Liberal Democrats

Matt Cole

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the political alliance between the Liberal Party (LP) and the Labour Party in 1977. When James Callaghan's Labour government faced a Commons motion of ‘no confidence’, he realized that he needed an alliance to secure his position and the obvious partners for this agreement were the thirteen Liberal Members of Parliament (MPs). The alliance materialized because Liberal Party leader David Steel believed in the potential benefits of co-operation between the Liberals and other parties and he argued that party co-operation was the logical corollary of the Liberals' belief in proportional representation. This chapter discusses Richard Wainwright's thoughts about the alliance and describes his attack against Labour in 1979, particularly against the trade unions' leaders.

Keywords:   Liberal Party, Labour Party, political alliance, James Callaghan, Liberal MPs, David Steel, proportional representation, Richard Wainwright, trade unions

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