Social Democratic Party (UK)

Social Democratic Party (UK)

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) was a centrist political party in the United Kingdom that was created on 26 March 1981 and existed until 1988. It was founded by four senior Labour Party 'moderates', dubbed the 'Gang of Four': Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rodgers and Shirley Williams. At the time of the SDP's creation, Owen and Rodgers were sitting Labour Members of Parliament (MPs); Jenkins had left Parliament in 1977 to serve as President of the European Commission, while Williams had lost her seat in the 1979 general election. The four left the Labour Party as a result of policy changes enacted at the January 1981 Wembley conference which committed the party to unilateral nuclear disarmament and withdrawal from the European Economic Community. They also believed that Labour had become too left-wing, and had been infiltrated at constituency level by Trotskyist factions whose views and behaviour they considered to be at odds with the Parliamentary Labour Party and Labour voters.

For the 1983 and 1987 General Elections, the SDP joined the Liberal Party in the SDP-Liberal Alliance. After a ballot of members and the passing of a motion at the 1987 Portsmouth conference, the party merged with the Liberal Party in 1988 to form the Liberal Democrats, although a minority left to form a continuing SDP led by David Owen.

Read more about Social Democratic Party (UK):  The Manifesto Group and The Split From Labour, Aftermath

Famous quotes containing the words social, democratic and/or party:

    What men call social virtues, good fellowship, is commonly but the virtue of pigs in a litter, which lie close together to keep each other warm.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    The Democratic Party is like a mule. It has neither pride of ancestry nor hope of posterity.
    Ignatius Donnelly (1831–1901)

    He said, truly, that the reason why such greatly superior numbers quailed before him was, as one of his prisoners confessed, because they lacked a cause,—a kind of armor which he and his party never lacked. When the time came, few men were found willing to lay down their lives in defense of what they knew to be wrong; they did not like that this should be their last act in this world.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)