Hugh Gaitskell – 50 Years On



At the point of his untimely death fifty years ago, Hugh Gaitskell was leading a Labour Party that was ahead in the polls and facing a discredited and unpopular Conservative government.


But barely four years before that, Gaitskell had also been ahead in the polls and facing a discredited Conservative government – but Labour had nevertheless lost the 1959 general election. Would Gaitskell have led Labour to victory at his second attempt? His unexpected sudden death in 1963 meant that we did not have the opportunity to know.


Join us at our latest meeting to hear two former Labour ‘Gaitskellite’ Cabinet Ministers – Bill Rodgers and Roy Hattersley – reflect on Gaitskell’s achievement and legacy. They will be joined on the panel by the distinguished political commentator Donald Macintyre of the Independent.




  • Roy Hattersley, Rt Hon Lord Hattersley

Labour MP 1964-97; Labour frontbencher 1967-92, including Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection 1976–79 and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party 1983-92


  • Bill Rodgers, Rt Hon Lord Rodgers of Quarry Bank

Chairman of the Gaitskellite Campaign for Democratic Socialism; General Secretary of the Fabian Society, 1953–60; Labour MP 1962-81, SDP MP 1981-83; Labour frontbencher 1964-81, including Secretary of State for Transport 1976–79; Leader, Liberal Democrats, House of Lords, 1998–2001


  • Donald Macintyre

Political Editor of the Sunday Telegraph 1987–89, the Sunday Correspondent 1989–90, the Independent on Sunday 1990–93 and the Independent 1993–96; Chief Political Commentator on the Independent 1996–2004, currently columnist and sketchwriter



Date: 7.00pm, Wednesday 3rd July 2013 (please allow at least 15 minutes to get through security)


Venue: Committee Room 4, House of Commons


All welcome, please register online at:

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