Chapter

Edward Heath: a rightwards turn and the coalescence of the extreme right, 1964–70

Mark Pitchford

in The Conservative Party and the extreme right 1945–75

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780719083631
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702864 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719083631.003.0005
Edward Heath: a rightwards turn and the coalescence of the extreme right, 1964–70

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This chapter explores the Conservative Party's relationship with the extreme right after it returned to opposition in 1964, and discusses how the Conservative Party responded to the challenge presented when the external extreme right coalesced for the first time since 1945 into a viable political party. It also reveals how the extreme right within the Conservative Party posed an even greater threat, and the action taken against it. The Conservative Party leadership faced the quandary of dealing with immigration while maintaining party unity. A change of Party Chairman had not resulted in a more favourable attitude towards the Monday Club. Enoch Powell's ‘rivers of blood’ speech lent credibility to the extreme right and had affected the Monday Club by giving it impetus. The sixteen substantial Central Office files that contain correspondence about Powell's race relations speeches support the breadth, depth and opinion of Diane Spearman's findings.

Keywords: Conservative Party; extreme right; Enoch Powell; Monday Club; rivers of blood; Central Office; Diane Spearman

Chapter.  28589 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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