Latest Issue

Book review: Against the Tide by Dick Taverne

Taverne's principled political stand earned him friends and enemies in equal measure

By Hugh Purcell  

The defining episode in Dick Taverne’s public life came in March 1973 after he resigned from the Labour Party and stood as a Democratic Labour candidate for Lincoln in the ensuing by-election. It was an acrimonious affair that attracted huge publicity, partly due to a World in Action TV confrontation with the chairman of the local Labour Party during which Taverne upheld Edmund Burke’s principle that an MP should be a representative, not a delegate. Taverne won a crushing victory. When the election…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect