Robert Griffiths (politician)

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Robert Griffiths
Robert Griffiths, Britain Needs Socialism, 2011.jpg
Robert Griffiths in 2011
General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain
Assumed office
1 January 1998
Preceded by Mike Hicks
Welsh Socialist Republican Movement
In office
Preceded by New position
Succeeded by Position Ended
Personal details
Born Robert David Griffiths
(1952-04-21) 21 April 1952 (age 64)[1]
Cardiff, Wales
Nationality British
Political party Communist Party of Britain
Other political
Plaid Cymru (1974–78)
WSRM (1979–1982)
Communist Party of Great Britain (until 1988)

Robert David Griffiths (born 1952) is the general secretary of the Communist Party of Britain. He was elected by the CPB's Executive Committee in January 1998, in place of Mike Hicks.[2][3]

Griffiths was born in Cardiff where he attended Bryn Hafod primary school and Cardiff High School.[4] Later he went to the University of Bath to study economics before taking a position as a parliamentary research officer for Plaid Cymru in 1974. He stayed in the post until 1979; it was a difficult year for the party, which had faced defeat in the Welsh devolution referendum and the loss of Gwynfor Evans' seat in the general election. With a reduced presence in Westminster the party had no need of a large parliamentary staff and Griffiths was made redundant.

In July 1979 he collaborated with Gareth Miles to publish Socialism for the Welsh People,[5][6] a pamphlet which was critical of Plaid Cymru for its "opportunism"[7] and alleged subservience to the British state. The pamphlet called for the creation of a Welsh Socialist Republican Movement,[8] which was founded by Griffiths, Miles and others in January 1980.[6] Griffiths served as the organisation's secretary and wrote for its magazine 'the Arrow' (Welsh: Y Saeth).[9]

During George Galloway's attempt to be selected as the Labour candidate for Rhondda in the 1983 general election, Griffiths brought him along to events and introduced him to local people.[10] However, Galloway failed to win the selection, and instead Allan Rogers stood as the Labour candidate. Rogers became the seat's MP.

He has also previously served as Welsh president of the AUEW-TASS union.[11]

Griffiths was a speaker at the first Communist University in Wales, and he speaks regularly at national events of the Communist Party of Britain. He has also taken part in debates at the Oxford Union,[12][13][14] Cambridge Union Society[15][16] and Manchester Debating Union.[17] In February 2013, Griffiths was among those who gave their support to the People's Assembly in a letter published by The Guardian newspaper.[18] He continues to be an active supporter of the People's Assembly nationally and is also active in his local People's Assembly in Cardiff.

In 2016, Griffiths was unveiled as the chair of the Left Leave campaign for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. The group is a coalition of political parties and organisations such as the Communist Party of Britain, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers and the Respect Party.


Elections contested[edit]

European Parliament

In the 1994 election, he stood on behalf of the Communist Party in the single-member South Wales Central constituency, winning 1,073 votes or 0.6% of the total. Later on, in the 2009 and 2014 elections, he stood as part of the No2EU electoral list in the multi-member Wales constituency.[19][20]

UK Parliament elections

All these elections were contested on behalf of the Communist Party.

Election Constituency Votes %
1997 Pontypridd 178[21] 0.4
2001 Newport East[11] 173[22] 0.6
2005 Pontypridd 233[23] 0.6
2010 Cardiff South & Penarth 196[24] 0.4
2012 Cardiff South & Penarth[25] 213[26] 1.1
2015 Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney 186[27] 0.6

Local elections

In 2008, he stood for the Splott ward of Cardiff council, winning 127 votes, or 3.4% of the total.[28]


  1. ^ "Robert David Griffiths". YourNextMP. 2015. 
  2. ^ "The Political Situation in Britain". New Worker. New Communist Party of Britain. April 1988. Archived from the original on 13 February 2012. 
  3. ^ Clement, Barrie (22 February 1988). "'Star' strike marks Marx anniversary". the Independent. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "For a people's MP". Election Leaflets. Cardiff. 17 April 2010. 
  5. ^ Madyn. "Sosialaeth i'r Cymry". Gweriniaeth y Gweithiwr (in Welsh). Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Ellis, Peter (1985). the Celtic revolution: a study in anti-imperialism. Talybont, Ceredigion: Y Lolfa. pp. 93–95. ISBN 9780862430962. OL 1812565W. 
  7. ^ Osmond, John (June 1984). "Chapter 2". Police conspiracy?. Talybont, Ceredigion: Y Lolfa. p. 27. ISBN 0862430771. What characteristics other than compromise, cowardice, vacillation, gradualism and opportunism could we expect from a Party whose leadership and many of its most influential members are petty-bourgeois, non-conformist and pacifist? 
  8. ^ Mann, Steve (April 1980). "Review of Gareth Miles and Robert Griffiths' Socialism for the Welsh People". Socialist Challenge. Archived from the original on 25 June 2013. 
  9. ^ Tim Richards WSRM / Cymru Goch (video). 24 September 2014. 3 minutes in. 
  10. ^ George Galloway speaking at Merthyr Tydfil (video). 30 March 2015. 2 minutes in. 
  11. ^ a b Dominic, MacAskill. "the Communist Party Election Site". Welsh Communist Party. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. 
  12. ^ Don't dream the American Dream (video). Oxford Union. 1 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "Oxford Union debate rejects the American Dream". 21centurymanifesto. 24 January 2013. Archived from the original on 24 October 2013. 
  14. ^ Socialism does work (video). Oxford Union. 28 November 2013. 
  15. ^ This House Believes Capitalism Has Failed (video). Cambridge Union Society. 4 October 2012. 
  16. ^ "Cambridge Union debate". Cambridge Communists. 9 October 2012. Archived from the original on 15 October 2013. 
  17. ^ Taylor, Millia (11 October 2013). "Never take financial advice from someone who has less money than you". the Tab Manchester. Archived from the original on 15 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "People's Assembly Against Austerity opening letter". the Guardian. 5 February 2013. p. 33. 
  19. ^ Parry-Jones, Bryn (7 June 2009). "Election for the European Parliament electoral region of Wales" (PDF). Pembrokeshire County Council. 
  20. ^ Parry-Jones, Bryn (25 May 2014). "Election for the European Parliament electoral region of Wales" (PDF). Pembrokeshire County Council. 
  21. ^ Kimber, Richard (22 October 2012). "Pontypridd". General Election result, May 1997. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. 
  22. ^ Kimber, Richard (22 October 2012). "Newport East". General Election result, June 2001. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. 
  23. ^ "Results for Pontypridd". the Electoral Commission. 
  24. ^ "Results for Cardiff South and Penarth". the Electoral Commission. 
  25. ^ "Communists to contest Cardiff South and Penarth by-election". Welsh Communist Party. 23 July 2012. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. 
  26. ^ Keane, Kristofer. "Cardiff South and Penarth, 2012". 
  27. ^ "Election results for Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney". Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council. 8 May 2015. 
  28. ^ Teale, Andrew. "Y Sblot". Local Elections 2008. Local Elections Archive Project. Archived from the original on 13 May 2012. 
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mike Hicks
General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain Succeeded by
Preceded by
New position
Leader of the WSRM Succeeded by
Position ended