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Labour and the Left in the 1980s$
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Jonathan Davis and Rohan McWilliam

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526106438

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526106438.001.0001

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Leading the Labour Party in the 1980s

Leading the Labour Party in the 1980s

(p.44) 2 Leading the Labour Party in the 1980s
Labour and the Left in the 1980s

Martin Farr

Manchester University Press

The Labour Party had three leaders in the 1980s. None found the experience fulfilling. James Callaghan, Michael Foot, and Neil Kinnock, as leaders do, sought to convey their purpose and to shape the party; it was their misfortune to try to lead at a moment when the very nature of leadership was questioned, and the motivations of those who led doubted. Their circumstances varied but the outcomes were similar. As each tried to manage the party and appeal to the public, there were challenges to their authority (both formal and informal), representations to convey and misrepresentations to endure, both at the time and subsequently. Though each has been considered individually, this chapter offers the first comparative assessment.

Keywords:   Labour Party, Leaders, Elections, James Callaghan, Michael Foot, Neil Kinnock

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