John R. Pinniger

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John Pinniger at a Monday Club Young Members' Group event, 15 July 1981

John R Pinniger is a former Conservative councillor for the London Borough of Lambeth and an unsuccessful Conservative candidate for the European Parliament. He was a leading activist and political adviser in the right-wing Conservative Monday Club during the early 1980s but found himself at centre of a schism in the club in 1984.

Monday Club split[edit]

Pinniger worked closely with the Conservative Member of Parliament Harvey Proctor, who was then Chairman of the Monday Club's Immigration & Repatriation Committee. In 1981 he co-authored a pamphlet with Proctor which called for the repatriation of 50,000 immigrants per year, the abolition of the Commission for Racial Equality and the repeal of all race relations legislation.[1] His proposals were said to offend many mainstream Conservatives[citation needed] but were defended on the grounds that they would reduce racial tension.[2]

In March 1984, Pinniger announced that he would be resigning, in protest, from the Monday Club. He told the media that there were members who were "simply anti-immigrant and anti-black - that is, racist" who wanted to expel immigrants from the UK. He also described the club as "fizzling out" and being out of touch with the Conservative mainstream.[3]

His walkout was followed by several other Monday Club members, who supported Pinniger's assertion that the club had failed to tackle extremism and racism in its ranks[citation needed]. However, the club fought back strongly, circulating copies of speeches and pamphlets by Pinniger about immigration and claiming that he had been a prominent advocate of policies which he now labelled extremist. It accused him of trying to "cover up the fact that the club had suspended him and certain associates, with a view to possible expulsion." The club also claimed that Pinniger had been responsible for a "clandestine and unethical plot" to mount a take-over and that "his outrage at the club's policies is fake, and that his current manoeuvres are an attempt to destroy that which he cannot control." [2]

The club subsequently produced a document that it claimed to be the minutes of a body called the Camberley Group, said to have been formed by Pinniger and others as the vehicle for a take-over bid. It was dismissed by Pinniger as a forgery and passed on to the police for examination.[4] Members of the Camberley Group were reported to have said that the group was "formed to moderate the [Monday] club and steer it back into the mainstream of Conservative policy because it had failed to purge itself of extremists." [5]

Political career[edit]

Pinniger later successfully contested a seat on Lambeth Council as well as working as the head of communications for the Financial Intermediaries, Managers and Brokers Regulatory Association.[6]

In the 1994 European elections he unsuccessfully stood for the European Parliament as a Conservative candidate in the constituency of Greater Manchester East (now part of the North West England constituency), a safe Labour seat. He came second to the Labour candidate, winning 19.32% of the vote as against the winning candidate's 60.44%.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Call to repatriate 50,000 a year," The Times p. 3, 28 April 1981
  2. ^ a b "Monday Club accuses ex-political adviser of plotting a takeover," The Times p. 2, 13 March 1984
  3. ^ "Monday Club official resigns over 'racism'," The Times p. 1, 10 March 1984
  4. ^ "Forgery claim as six quit Monday Club" The Times p. 2, March 16, 1984
  5. ^ "Monday Club rebels may attend inquiry," The Times p. 2, 21 March 1984
  6. ^ "Chased to the edge by councils in search of tax," The Sunday Times, 20 February 1994
  7. ^ "Results from British constituencies," The Independent, 13 June 1994

Publications[edit]

  • Immigration, Repatriation, & the Commission for Racial Equality, by Harvey Proctor, MP, John R. Pinniger, MA, with a foreword by Sir Ronald Bell, QC, MP, published by the Monday Club, 1981, (P/B)
  • Immigration - An Untenable Situation by K.Harvey Proctor, MP, and John R. Pinniger, MA, Policy Paper from the Monday Club's Immigration and Repatriation Policy Committee, October 1981
  • Race Relations & Immigration by K.Harvey Proctor, MP, and John R. Pinniger, MA, Policy Paper from the Monday Club's Immigration & Race Relations Committee, October 1982