The Limehouse Declaration 40 Years On: Can the SDP Teach Us Anything Today?
22 September, 6.30pm
In partnership with Progressive Britain, we are delighted to invite you to this live webinar chaired by MEI Deputy Director, Dr Colm Murphy.
Combining the insights of a witness seminar with contemporary analysis, the panel will aim to highlight the similarities (and differences) between the 1981 schism and the contemporary moment, using this anniversary as an opportunity to gain insights into the politics of today.
Panellists will reflect on the significance of the SDP in British political history, and its legacy. They will also offer their perspectives on what the Liberal Democrats and The Green Party can possibly learn today from the SDP, lessons – both positive and negative – for the Labour Party, electoral alliances, and the viability more generally of ‘third party’ politics in England.
Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable - Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 2017 to 2019 and Member of Parliament or Twickenham from 1997 to 2015 and from 2017 to 2019. Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills from 2010 to 2015. He was the SDP candidate for York in 1983 and 1987.
Rt Hon Charles Clarke – Labour Party politician and Member of Parliament for Norwich South from 1997 to 2010. Home Secretary from 2004 to 2006.
Peter Sloman - University Senior Lecturer in British Politics at the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) and a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. His research focusses on political ideas, public policy, and electoral politics in modern Britain.
Julie Smith, Baroness Smith of Newnham – Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords and a Fellow in Politics and Graduate Tutor at Robinson College, Cambridge, where she was Director of the European Centre from 2013 to 2019.
Polly Toynbee – Writer and Guardian columnist. She was the SDP candidate for Lewisham East in the 1983 general election.