Nina Temple

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Nina Temple
General Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain
In office
January 1990 – November 1991
Preceded by Gordon McLennan
Succeeded by Post abolished
General Secretary of the Young Communist League
In office
Preceded by Tom Bell
Succeeded by Douglas Chalmers
Personal details
Born Nina Claire Temple
(1956-04-21) 21 April 1956 (age 61)
Westminster, London, England
Political party Communist Party of Great Britain
Other political
Democratic Left
Alma mater Imperial College, London

Nina Claire Temple (born 21 April 1956)[1] was the last Secretary[2] of the Communist Party of Great Britain, and was formerly a think-tank director in the United Kingdom.

Early life[edit]

Temple was born in Westminster, London, the daughter of Barbara J. (Rainnie) and Landon Roy Temple. Born into a communist family (her father ran Progressive Tours and was a Communist Party of Great Britain member),[2] she joined the Young Communist League when she was 13, later protesting in London against the Vietnam War.[3] She has a degree in materials science from Imperial College, London.[3][4] She is the sister of film director Julien Temple and the aunt of actress Juno Temple.

Communist Party of Great Britain[edit]

During the late 1970s she was general secretary of the Young Communist League and became a prominent member of the Eurocommunist grouping within the party. She became a member of the CPGB executive in 1979, and then a member of the Political Committee in January 1982.[5]

She was the Press and Publicity Officer of the CPGB from January 1983 until 1989,[6] when she became the last (General) Secretary of the party in January 1990, aged 33.[3] She pledged to make the party "feminist and green, as well as democratically socialist."[7] In this role Temple became one of the leading proponents of the dissolution of the CPGB in November 1991 and the founding of its legal successor, the Democratic Left.[8][9]

Think tanks[edit]

The Democratic Left continued through the 1990s, becoming the New Politics Network in 1999. Temple was its first director[8] and worked for five years for the Make Votes Count Coalition.[10]

In June 2005 she started work as head of Development and Communications at the Social Market Foundation, a role she held until 2008.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Temple has two children with a schoolteacher, a daughter born in 1987 and a son born in 1989.[3]

Temple became ill with Parkinson's disease in 2000.[4] She trained in counselling at the Gestalt Centre in Old Street, and in September 2003 founded Sing For Joy, a choir of people with chronic degenerative diseases.[4][11][12]


  1. ^ "Ms Nina Temple's Biography". Debretts. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Temple dropped 'General' from her job description, see Francis Beckett Enemy Within: The Rise and Fall of the Communist Party, London: John Murray, 1995, p213
  3. ^ a b c d Rule, Sheila (2 February 1990). "New Name and New Age (Is There a New Party?)". New York Times. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d Newman, Sara (10 July 2008). "Parkinson's sufferers are in full voice!". Camden New Journal. 
  5. ^ Bull, Martin J.; Paul Heywood (1994). West European Communist parties after the revolutions of 1989. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-12268-3. 
  6. ^ Clark, William (29 December 1989). "Scottish Communist Party 'in good heart'". Glasgow Herald. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "Communist Choice". Glasgow Herald. 15 January 1990. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Cohen, Nick (23 October 2000). "Up for grabs: £3.5m of Stalin's gold". New Statesman. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  9. ^ "British communists propose name change". Herald-Journal. 23 November 1991. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  10. ^ Tempest, Matthew (6 January 2003). "Voting change would be fitting legacy, say campaigners". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  11. ^ "Music a 'mega-vitamin' for the brain". CNN. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  12. ^ Stretton, Penny (13 July 2007). "Singers discover the healing power of song". Ham & High. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Tom Bell
General Secretary of the Young Communist League
1979 - 1983
Succeeded by
Douglas Chalmers
Preceded by
Gordon McLennan
General Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain
January 1990 - November 1991
Succeeded by
post abolished