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First Tuesday. Dr Christopher Massey, Teesside University will talk about: The Man at the Back: Lord Tom Sawyer and the modernisation of the Labour Party

April 5 @ 19:00 - 20:30

‘The Man at the Back: Lord Tom Sawyer and the modernisation of the Labour Party’ with Dr. Christopher Massey

This talk highlights the significant contribution of Lord Tom Sawyer to the Labour Party’s modernisation between 1983 and 1997. Sawyer, as a key trade union official and later General Secretary of the Labour Party, played a crucial role in the redevelopment of Labour’s internal structures, policy making and campaign machinery.

Sawyer’s political journey in these years closely mirrored Labour’s national position, shifting from the hard-left towards the centre-left. His contributions to Labour’s renewal included vital roles during the Inquiry into the Militant Tendency in Liverpool (1986), the party’s Policy Review (1987-92), the shift to One Member, One Vote (1993), the change to Clause IV of Labour’s Constitution (1995), and Partnership in Power (1997).

Through such input, Sawyer played a crucial, and often undocumented, role in the modernisation which led towards the party’s 1997 general election victory.

Christopher Massey is the Principal Lecturer for Programmes within Humanities and Social Science at Teesside University. His research focuses on the Labour Party and the labour movement. His recent work includes the official biography of Lord Tom Sawyer, The Man at the Back, and a 2020 monograph, ‘The Modernisation of the Labour Party, 1979-97.’

He was elected as a Councillor for Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council in 2011, and was Deputy Leader between 2017 and 2019.

Here’s the link:

Topic: Tom Sawyer and the Labour Party

Time: Apr 5, 2022 07:00 PM London

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Meeting ID: 897 2966 2565

Passcode: 562204


April 5
19:00 - 20:30