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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…

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