‘Heathco’ meets the extreme-right's challenge, 1970–75

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:
‘Heathco’ meets the extreme-right's challenge, 1970–75

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This chapter examines the climacteric in the Conservative Party's relationship with the extreme right after 1945, showing how Central Office dealt with the possible incursion of the external extreme right into the Conservative Party. Private Eye parodied Edward Heath as the managing director of ‘Heathco’. Heath's Government seemed incapable of enacting, or unwilling to enact, any remedy for society's ills. Its problems provided veterans of the extreme right with an opportunity to grab the limelight from the beginning. Jonathan Guinness, Richard Body and Tim Stroud contested the Monday Club's 1972 leadership election. It is possible that the Monday Club's resolution reflected the divisions within the Monday Club rather than any corporate move rightwards. Guinness's victory was the culmination of pressure applied by Monday Club members who opposed the extreme right and voted accordingly. The October 1974 General Election was a personal disaster for Edward Heath.

Keywords: Edward Heath; Heathco; Conservative Party; extreme right; Central Office; Jonathan Guinness; Richard Body; Tim Stroud; Monday Club

Chapter.  19703 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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