Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Kentish Town Communique

25 years ago today Roy Jenkins, Shirley Williams, Bill Rodgers and David Owen issued the Limehouse Declaration. This presaged the birth of the Social Democratic Party, which was to merge with the Liberal Party and form the Liberal Democrats.

Julian Glover interviews the three surviving members of the Gang of Four in today's Guardian. He reveals that history might easily have known the declaration by a different name:
A quarter of a century ago, they gathered on a Sunday morning with a draft of a statement but no firm plans. Even the choice of Limehouse was an accident. Rodgers' wife Silvia had refused to let them meet in her house in north London: "Otherwise they might have issued the Kentish Town Communique - which I shall always regret," she says.

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