chapter  7
27 Pages

Parliamentary factionalism 1970–74: The Jenkinsites

The NEC research programme was dominated by the NEC and the Research Department, yet the parliamentary faction that looked upon Roy Jenkins as its natural leader did not respond organisationally to this development. The Jenkinsites included among their number several of the key organisers of the Campaign for Democratic Socialism (CDS), the organisation formed in 1960 to reverse the vote at conference that year in support of a unilateralist defence policy. The reason these individuals did not organise in opposition along similar lines, to meet the intellectual challenge provided by left-wing proposals on economic and industrial policy matters, is explained within the context of their primary objective of securing British membership of the Common Market. They achieved this in defiance of official party policy, a course of action which resulted in their marginalisation within the PLP and Jenkins’s resignation as deputy leader.