Campaign for Labour Party Democracy

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Campaign for Labour Party Democracy
Formation1973; 46 years ago (1973)
FounderVladimir Derer
  • United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Claudia Webbe
Peter Willsman
Russell Cartwright
Lizzy Ali
Rachel Godley-Wood
Gaye Johnston
Christine Shawcroft
Rachael Ward
Key people
Assistant secretaries: Rachel Garnham
Barry Gray
Barry Rodin
Asima Shaikh
Matthew Stiles
Jon Lansman

Press officer:
Mark Seddon
Anton Johnson

Trade union organisers: Jeff Slee
Francis Prideaux
Parent organisation
Labour Party
AffiliationsCentre-Left Grassroots Alliance

The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) is a group of Labour Party activists campaigning for changes to the constitution of the Labour Party to ensure that Labour MPs and Labour governments enacted policies agreeable to the party membership. It was founded by activists in 1973, with support from about ten Labour MPs, and its first President was Frank Allaun.[1][2] A leading co-founder was Vladimir Derer, and his house in Golders Green became CLPD's headquarters for about 25 years.[3][4]


Amongst the changes desired were mandatory reselection of MPs, for the party leader to be elected on a franchise wider than MPs and for the party manifesto to be drafted by the National Executive Committee rather than the parliamentary leadership.[5] Tony Benn was the foremost advocate of CLPD demands.[6] In the late 1970s, CLPD had about 450 members and nearly 300 affiliated organisations.[7]

In the 1980s, the CLPD became the first Labour organisation to call for more representation of women within the Party, which eventually led to all-women shortlists to select candidates being adopted in the Labour Party.[3][4]

Recent developments[edit]

In 2015, CLPD member Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Leader of the Labour Party, and took forward the CLPD agenda of increasing democracy in the Labour Party by putting forward reforms to increase the ability of the Party Conference to determine Labour Party policy.[8] Corbyn has not advocated mandatory reselection for Labour MPs now that he is Labour leader - a demand that he, along with Tony Benn and other members of the CLPD, had made in the 1980s - but because of the Conservative government's constituency boundary redrawing, all MPs intending to stand again were due to face reselection by October 2018 anyway; to date, this has not happened.[8]

During the 2016 Labour Party National Executive Committee elections, the CLPD did not support Ann Black, who was backed by the CLGA (the remainder of their slate was backed by the CLPD, after she voted in favour of a ban on members who joined within six months of the election being announced having a vote.[citation needed] This caused uncertainty among party members as to whether they should consider another choice of candidate.[citation needed] Black was re-elected.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jad Adams, Tony Benn (London: Macmillan, 1992), p. 393.
  2. ^ "c l p d - a potted history". CLPD. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b Chris Mullin (12 June 2014). "Vladimir Derer obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b Peta Steel (26 July 2014). "Vladimir Derer: Campaign for Labour Party Democracy co-founder who helped modernise the party and make it more electable". The Independent. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  5. ^ Adams, p. 394.
  6. ^ Adams, p. 393.
  7. ^ "Pressure Group Archives Subject Guide - Campaign for Labour Party Democracy". University of Hull. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  8. ^ a b Tom McTague (13 December 2015). "Jeremy Corbyn makes first move to rein in rebellious Labour MPs". The Independent. Retrieved 13 December 2015.

External links[edit]