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Monday Club
Conservative Monday Club
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Club header from the 1970s

The Conservative Monday Club (widely known as the Monday Club) is a British right-wing Tory pressure group.


Founded in the early 1960s during the party's internal debate over decolonisation, its published aims state that "The Monday Club seeks to evolve a dynamic application of traditional Tory principles".[SUP][1][/SUP] Roger Griffin referred to the Club as practising an anti-socialist and elitist form of conservatism.[SUP][2][/SUP]
The club is notable for having promoted a policy of voluntary, or assisted, repatriation for non-white immigrants,[SUP][3][/SUP][SUP][4][/SUP] which mirrored the pledge made in the Conservative Party's General Election Manifesto of 1970.
After its 1997 general election defeat, the Conservative Party began decisive moves towards becoming more centrist; the 20022003 party chairman, Theresa May, would later state that it had been perceived by voters as the "Nasty Party". The then party leader, Iain Duncan Smith, suspended the Monday Club's longstanding links with the party in October 2001,[SUP][5][/SUP] saying his party would have nothing to do with the organisation unless it stopped making "distasteful" remarks on race and immigration.[SUP][6][/SUP]
Since 1993 new full members of the club must be members of the Conservative Party, though there is no such requirement for associate membership.[SUP][7][/SUP] Monday Club observers, such as Denis Walker, have attended Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) conferences.
Part of the club's agenda stresses support for what it calls "traditional Conservative values", including "resistance to 'political correctness'".

Foundation and early years

The club was founded on 1 January 1961, by four young Conservative Party members, Paul Bristol (a 24 year-old shipbroker and the Club's first Chairman,[SUP][8][/SUP] who left the Club in 1968), Ian Greig (Membership Secretary until 1969), Cedric Gunnery (Treasurer until 1992) and Anthony Maclaren. The club was formed "to force local party associations to discuss and debate party policy". Its first general policy statement deplored the tendency of recent Conservative governments to adopt policies based upon expediency and demanded that instead Tory principles should be the guiding influence. It believed that the principles needing to be reasserted included the preservation of the constitution and existing institutions, the freedom of the individual, the private ownership of property, and the need for Britain to play a leading part in world affairs.[SUP][9][/SUP] It disliked what it regarded as the expediency, cynicism and materialism which motivatedHarold Macmillan's government. In addition it was concerned that during this period "the left wing of the Party (had) gained a predominant influence over policy" and that as a result the Conservative Party had shifted to the left, so that "the floating voter could not detect, as he should, major differences between it and the Socialists" and, furthermore, "loyal Conservatives had become disillusioned and dispirited."[SUP][10][/SUP]
The group initially brought together supporters of White Rhodesia and South Africa; the main impetus for the group's formation was the Conservatives' new decolonisation policies, in particular as a general reaction to Macmillan's 'Wind of Change' speech made in South Africa. The club stated that Macmillan had "turned the Party Left", and its first pamphlet opposed these policies, as indicative of the Conservative Party's move towards liberalism.[SUP][11][/SUP]
The 5th Marquess of Salisbury (18931972), who had resigned from Macmillan's Cabinet over the Prime Minister's liberal direction, became its first president in January 1962, when he stated "there was never a greater need for true conservatism than there is today".[SUP][12][/SUP] By the end of 1963 there were eleven Members of Parliament in the Club, which then had an overall membership of about 300.[SUP][13][/SUP]
The Club was courted by many Conservative politicians, not least the Conservative Party leader Alec Douglas Home who was guest-of-honour at the Club's annual dinners of 1964 and 1969, and Enoch Powell, who, in a speech in 1968, claimed that "it was due to the Monday Club that many are brought within the Conservative Party who might otherwise be estranged from it".[SUP][14][/SUP][SUP][15][/SUP] Notably that yearAlan Clark joined the Club and was soon Chairman of its Wiltshire branch.[SUP][16][/SUP] Under its Chairman from 1964 to 1969, Paul Williams, who until the former year had been M.P. for Sunderland South, the Club enjoyed significant growth and influence. Some argued that the Club had a disproportionate influence within Conservative circles, especially after six of its MPs joined the Cabinet in 1970.[SUP][17][/SUP]
Harold Wilson, twice Labour Prime Minister, described the club as "the guardian of the Tory conscience".[SUP][14][/SUP]
By 1970 eighteen Members of Parliament were Club members:[SUP][18][/SUP] In the 1970 Conservative Party election victory, six club MPs were given government positions.[SUP][20][/SUP] In addition, the following club members were elected that year:[SUP][18][/SUP] Among sitting MPs who joined the Club after that and other elections, along with those who became MPs were: Peers of the House of Lords who were Monday Club members: Other notable members: A number of other Monday Club members contested Labour-held seats, some of which had large majorities, and although the challenge was unsuccessful the majorities were reduced. These included Tim Keigwin, who almost unseated the Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe atNorth Devon, and David Clarke who failed by only 76 votes at Watford.[SUP][37][/SUP]
By 1971, the Club "undoubtedly had the largest membership of any conservative group and included 55 different groups in universities and colleges, 35 Members of Parliament with six in the government, and 35 Peers".At the Club's Annual General Meeting on the 26th April that year, in Westminster Central Hall, the Chairman, George Pole, announced that "our membership, including national, branches and universities is around 10,000."[SUP][38][/SUP]
John Biggs-Davison, MP, in his Foreword to Robert Copping's second book on the history of the club,[SUP][39][/SUP] stated that "by its principles [the club] has kept alive true Tory beliefs and held within its ranks many who contemplated defecting from the Conservative and Unionist Party". The club's Chairman in June 1981, David Storey, described it as "an anchor to a ship", referring to the Conservative Party.
The Thatcher years

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Three of the Young Members' Group at a Club Conference at Chilham Castle, 1980: John R. Pinniger (YMG Chairman), Richard Turnbull, & Gregory Lauder-Frost.

The club's revised Constitution (21 May 1984) stated that "the objects of the Club are to support the Conservative & Unionist Party in policies designed:
  • to maintain loyalty to the Crown and to uphold the sovereignty of Parliament, the security of the realm, and defence of the nation against external aggression and internal subversion;
  • to safeguard the liberty of the subject and integrity of the family in accordance with the customs, traditions, and character of the British people;
  • to maintain the British constitution in obedience and respect for the laws of the land, freedom of worship and our national heritage;
  • to promote an economy consistent with national aspirations and Tory ideals;
  • to encourage members of the club to play an active part, at all levels, in the affairs of the Conservative and Unionist Party."
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Members gather for the Club's 20th anniversary riverboat party organised by the Young Members' Group, 15 July 1981.

During the period that Margaret Thatcher led the Conservative Party, the Monday Club were prolific publishers of booklets, pamphlets, policy papers, an occasional newspaper, Right Ahead, and a magazine Monday World edited for some years by Sir Adrian FitzGerald, Bart., Sam Swerling, and later, Eleanor Dodd. In the October 1982 edition MP Harvey Proctorcalled for the scrapping of the Commission for Racial Equality, Sir Patrick Wallcommented on the 'Falkland Islands Campaign', James Molyneaux had an article 'What Future for Ulster', and Dr. Harvey Ward had an article on 'Zimbabwe Today'. The September 1984 edition of Monday News carried the headline 'Kinnock Talks to Terrorists', quoting former Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock's declaration to the South African African National Congress's Oliver Tambo that the ANC in South Africa could expect financial and material assistance from a future Labour government. Other attacks were made upon then-Greater London Council leader Ken Livingstone invitingSinn Féin leader Gerry Adams to visit London in 1982.
Old Guard departs

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The Foreign Affairs Committee were responsible for the Club's Russia Dinner on 11 January 1990, with Vladimir Cyrillovich, Grand Duke of Russia, pretender to the Imperial throne, being the guest-of-honour.[SUP][40][/SUP][SUP][41][/SUP]

In 19889, a group of longstanding members led by Gregory Lauder-Frost, the club's Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, succeeded in getting elected to the key posts on the Executive Council, with Dr. Mark Mayall as Deputy Chairman, and Lauder-Frost as the Political Secretary.
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Executive Committee members Gregory Lauder-Frost, Denis Walker, Sam Swerling, Dr.Mark Mayall, April 1991.

At the beginning of January 1991, the Monday Club Newsannounced the abolition of the only salaried position, that of Director (then held by the Club's Treasurer, Cedric Gunnery, one of the Club's founders). Although this was entirely due to the Club's precarious financial state,[SUP][42][/SUP]some felt more sinister moves afoot. Negative news stories began emerging[SUP][43][/SUP][SUP][44][/SUP] and resignations followed. An internal investigation followed. The chairman, David Storey, lost an almost unanimous vote of no confidence on 17 January 1991, and his membership was terminated by the Club's Executive Council on 11 February on the grounds that "he has engaged in behaviour prejudicial to the best interests, reputation, objects, and other members of the Monday Club; by abusing his position as Chairman in encouraging members to leave the Monday Club and to join a new political group".[SUP][45][/SUP][SUP][46][/SUP] Dr. Mayall became Acting Chairman until the May AGM when he was confirmed in that post by election. By 1992, the new team had the national (as opposed to branches) membership over 1600 again.
Personal legal problems forced Lauder-Frost's departure on 31 May 1992 and subsequently the Club descended into in-fighting, with more departures and failed expulsion attempts resulting in huge legal bills. Dr. Mark Mayall's term as Chairman expired in April 1993 and he left the group. Control passed effectively into the hands of Denis Walker, a former Minister for Education in the Rhodesian government. He changed the role of the club from a pressure group to a Conservative Party support group, bringing in a rule that all members must firstly be members of the party, something that prior to 1992 had been constantly opposed.


The national club established itself in offices at 51-53 Victoria Street, a few minutes walk from the Palace of Westminster. The club was, however, always a pressure group, remaining separate from the Conservative Party organisation. Around 1980, the Victoria Street building was cleared for demolition, and the club moved its offices to 122 Newgate Street, London, EC1, opposite the Old Bailey. High rents forced another move to 4 Orlando Road, Clapham Common, and finally, in 1991, the club's office was moved to an office belonging to W. Denis Walker, opposite Highams Park railway station, with new telephone numbers, and a new Post Office Box number in central London. The newsletter stated that "it is our long-term aim to relocate back to the very heart of London".
Branches [edit]

In addition to the national club, which operated through an elected Executive Council and numerous policy groups or committees, there were semi-autonomous county branches, a Young Members Monday Club, and numerous university Monday Clubs, the most prominent and active being at the University of Oxford.
Policy committees

The Monday Club had various study groups (later renamed policy committees) including: Foreign affairs


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At the Western Goals Institute's 'El Salvador' Dinner, London, 25 September 1989. L to R: Denis Walker, Lord Sudeley, El Salvador's Foreign Minister, Andrew Smith (yellow tie), Dr. Harvey Ward

The Club was anti-communist and had an active Defence Committee chaired for over 15 years by Sir Patrick Wall, MP, MC, and produced much literature on the perceived threat posed by Soviets and communists everywhere.
When it appeared that communism was failing in the Eastern Bloc, the Club's Foreign Affairs Committee called upon Members of Parliament to be ready and to argue for the German borders to be restored to the position they stood at on 1 January 1938, saying there must be no gains for communism.[SUP][50][/SUP]
Club officers, including Gregory Lauder-Frost, Denis Walker, and Lord Sudeley, attended a Western Goals Institute dinner in September 1989 in honour of Salvadorianpresident Alfredo Cristiani, whose military was at the time fighting the FMLN.[SUP][51][/SUP]
The Club also took a hard line on the return of White Russians by the British Army to Stalin's forces in 19456, who executed nearly all of them. In this respect it gave its support to Count Nikolai Tolstoy, historian and author of Victims of Yalta and The Minister and the Massacres, who was then being sued for libel, by holding a dinner for him at London's Charing Cross Hotel on 26 October 1988.[SUP][52][/SUP]

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Ian Smith makes a point at a dinner organised in his honour by The Hon. Denis Walker (far left) atLympne Castle, Kent, 23 July 1990. Smith is flanked by Nicholas and Ann Winterton, both MPs, and Rhodesian flags.

The club opposed what it described as the "premature" independence of Kenya, and the breakup of the Central African Federation, which was the subject of its first major public meeting in September 1961.[SUP][53][/SUP] It was fundamentally opposed to decolonisation, and defended white minority rule in South Africa and Rhodesia.
During the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) period in Rhodesia, the club strongly backed the government of Ian Smith and the Rhodesian Front, being seen as its strongest supporters in Britain. In November 1963, the club had hosted a large reception for Smith at the Howard Hotel in London. That was followed the next year by receptions for Clifford Dupont and Moise Tshombe. The Club continued its support for white minority rule in South Africa, with Lauder-Frost organising a large dinner in central London, on 5 June 1989, for its guest-of-honour Dr. Andries Treurnicht, Leader of theConservative Party of South Africa, and his delegation. Tim Janman, MP, and the Lord Sudeley were amongst those present from parliament.[SUP][54][/SUP]

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Meet the President: The Monday Club delegation to Croatia, 12 October 1991: L to R: Roger Knapman, MP, Andrew Hunter, MP, Count Nikolai Tolstoy, President Franjo Tuđman, Gregory Lauder-Frost, The Hon. Denis Walker, Rod Morris.

The government of Franjo Tuđman in Croatia invited the Monday Club to send a delegation to observe its conflict with Serbia, in October 1991, when the Serbian Orthodox minority in the Roman Catholic-dominated country refused to recognise Tuđman's nationalist government.[SUP][55][/SUP][SUP][56][/SUP] It was the first British political delegation to go to Croatia during the conflict.[SUP][57][/SUP]
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The Hon. Denis Walker & Andrew Hunter MP on the Croatia-Serbia front line as part of the Monday Club delegation, 12 October 1991

European Union

Debate within the Club was intense on the European issue. In the early days of the EEC one of the Club's MPs, Geoffrey Rippon, was so pro-EEC that he was known as 'Mr Europe'. Because of the divisions within the Club on this issue the decision was taken not to have a policy on it. However, by 1980 the mood had changed. A Club Discussion Paper in October 1980 was entitled Do Tories Really want to Scrap 80% of Britain's Fishing Fleet, and the Club adopted a firm anti-EU position. Teddy Taylor MP, an anti EEC man, became Chairman of the Club's EEC Affairs Policy Committee and authored a Club Policy Paper in December 1982 entitled Proposals to Rescue the British Fishing Industry. The Club's Scottish branch's newspaper, The Challenger, carried a further article against the EU by Taylor in September 1985 entitled Swallowing the Nation, and Enoch Powell also spoke against the EU at one of the Club's fringe meetings at the Conservative Party Conference at Blackpool on 8 October 1991, with Lauder-Frost presiding, which was filmed and broadcast on BBC TV's Newsnight that night. In 1992 the Chairman, Dr. Mark Mayall, authored another Club booklet entitled:Maastricht: The High Tide of European Federalism, a fierce attack on the EU.

In September 1972, the club held a "Halt Immigration Now!" public meeting in Westminster Central Hall, opposite Parliament, at which the speakers Ronald Bell, QC, MP, John Biggs-Davison, MP, Harold Soref, MP, and John Heydon Stokes, MP, (all club members) called on the government to halt all immigration, repeal the Race Relations Act, not the separate Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968, and start a full repatriation scheme. A resolution was drafted, approved by the meeting, and delivered to the Prime Minister, Edward Heath, who replied that "the government had no intention of repealing the Race Relations Act". When Reginald Maudling resigned from the Cabinet, the Liberal leader, Jeremy Thorpe, commented that "Mr. Heath has been left to wrestle with the Monday Club single-handed."[SUP][58][/SUP]
In October 1982, the Monday Club published its latest, slightly revised, policy on immigration. It called for:
  1. Scrapping of the Commission for Racial Equality and Community Relations Councils.
  2. Repeal of the race relations laws.
  3. An end to the use of race or colour as criteria for the distribution of state benefits & loans.
  4. An end to positive discrimination and all special treatment based upon race or colour.
  5. An end to all further large-scale permanent immigration from the New Commonwealth.
  6. An improved repatriation scheme with generous resettlement grants for all those from New Commonwealth countries who wish to take advantage of them.
  7. The redesignation of the Ministry of Overseas Aid as a Ministry for Overseas Resettlement.
The Club's position on immigration was reiterated in a letter in The Times from Lauder-Frost on the Club's behalf in October 1991 where he stated that the annual levels of immigration "were unacceptable" and called for "the strictest possible entry to Britain for those of other cultures."[SUP][59][/SUP]
Northern Ireland

Following an Official Irish Republican Army (IRA) bombing at Aldershot, Hampshire, in February 1972, club member and MP Jill Knightcalled for legislation to outlaw the Official IRA and its political wing, Official Sinn Féin. The club was opposed to the dismantling of theStormont government in Northern Ireland and the imposition of direct rule.[SUP][60][/SUP] On 7 September 1989, Lauder-Frost, on behalf of the Club, denounced "the disgraceful Anglo-Irish Agreement" in The Sun.
Controversies and criticism

The Guardian claimed in 1968 that the organisation was "probably the nearest British equivalent to the American John Birch Society".[SUP][61][/SUP] It was claimed by opponents of the club that many members had drawn closer to the National Front, it being reported as early as 1973 that NF members were moving to take over branches of the club.[SUP][62][/SUP] The bad publicity led to a crisis culminating in a series of purges, mainly in Club branches.[SUP][63][/SUP]
The playwright David Edgar described the Monday Club, in 1986, as "proselytis[ing] the ancient and venerable conservative traditions ofpaternalism, imperialism and racism."[SUP][64][/SUP]
On 24 February 1991, The Observer ran a lengthy article entitled "Far Right takes over the Monday Club", stating that a number of senior members had tendered their resignations in protest at the Club's "takeover" by "extreme right-wingers", some of whom were also members of the Western Goals Institute. The Club's solicitors, Rubenstein, Callingham & Gale, sent a formal letter of protest to the editor of the Observer about the article, and demanded a right-of-reply for the Club. The editor agreed and Lauder-Frost, writing on behalf of the Club, subsequently challenged the article's accusations in a Letter to the Editor, which was published the following Sunday. He denied that a takeover had occurred, claimed that none of the Club's policies had changed and that its direction was consistent with its aims and historical principles.
The club has been sometimes described as "far-right" by journalists in newspapers across the political spectrum from The Daily Telegraph to The Guardian and, in 2002, as a "bastion on the Tory hard right" by the British Broadcasting Corporation.[SUP][65][/SUP] Thurlow, however, stated that it was doubted that members of the Monday Club were secret or even potential nazis.[SUP][66][/SUP]
Suspension of links by the Conservative party (2001)

Faction fighting within the Club following Lauder-Frost's departure let to a period of instability and a resulting loss of membership. The Club's influence declined. Although the Monday Club was a completely autonomous pressure-group and not part of the Conservative Party organisation, Conservative Party chairman David Davis informed the club's National Executive in 2001 that links between it and the party were being severed until it stopped promoting several of its (long-held and established[SUP][67][/SUP]) policies such as the voluntary repatriation of ethnic minorities. Davis later told the media: "I have told them that until a number of things are concludedparticularly some concerns about the membership of the club, and a review of the club's constitution and a requirement that the club will not promulgate or discuss policies relating to racethe club is suspended from any association with the Conservative party".[SUP][68][/SUP] Three MPs, Andrew Hunter, Andrew Rosindell and Angela Watkinson, were ordered to resign from the club.
On the 10 May 2002, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported that the club sought to restore its links with the Conservative Party.[SUP][6][/SUP] At the following Club Annual General meeting in April 2002, members approved two motions proposed by Michael Keith Smith, (also Chairman of the Conservative Democratic Alliance); one reaffirming the Club's opposition to mass immigration, and another empowering Club officers to institute legal action against the Conservative Party following the Club's 'suspension' by them. A third motion, asking the Club to call for the sacking of John Bercow, then Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and former Monday Club member, for his "hypocrisy", was defeated.[SUP][69][/SUP]
The Times reported (2 June 2006) that, as the club "is now slowly nudging back into the mainstream, many members feel that it is time to return to the fold".
The Monday Club, having changed its original raison d'être as a pressure group in 1993, and whose membership is now said to be back below 600, now has very little influence on the agenda of the Conservative Party. Many of its former members subsequently joined theConservative Democratic Alliance.
Monday Club publications

Further information: List of Conservative Monday Club publications
Notes [edit]
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Why haven't the police rounded up these criminals and closed their gang down?
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Firstly, because they're too powerful and secondly because they're too right wing. So the cops are simpatico and favour them. Some of them like little boys bottoms too. Another thing they share in common with some plod.

Just saying...
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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