Sandelson, Neville

The papers of Neville Sandelson, Member of Parliament for the Hayes & Harlington constituency 1971-83 (Labour 1971-81, Social Democratic Party 1981-83), have been fully catalogued and are now available for consultation in the Archives Reading Room, British Library of Political and Economic Science (10 Portugal Street, London, WC2A 2HD, 020 7405 7223,

Sandelson was born in 1923, joined the Labour Party in 1939 and unsuccessfully contested eight elections as a Labour Party candidate in six different constituencies before being elected in a by election in 1971. He was a moderate Labour MP and opposed the activities of extreme left wing organisations inside and outside the Labour Party. His relationship with left wing members of his Constituency Labour Party was a stormy one, and he survived various attempts to deselect him as MP. He was a founder member and treasurer of the Labour Party Manifesto Group (1975-80).

In 1981 he was one of the founding members of the SDP, and continued as an MP until losing his seat in the 1983 general election, standing as a Liberal-SDP Alliance candidate. He campaigned in support of the return of a Conservative government in the 1987 general election and rejoined the Labour Party in 1996.

The collection includes a series of scrapbooks of press cuttings covering Sandelson’s period as an MP, files relating to the Hayes & Harlington constituency, and papers on the Labour Party and the foundation of the SDP. Sandelson took a keen interest in foreign affairs, and there is material on the Middle East, Afghanistan, Gibraltar and Northern Ireland. There is also an extensive series of photographs documenting his political life.

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