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Discrete CollectionsPolitics, economics and social science collections
TitleSandelson; Neville Devonshire (1923-2002); politician
Extent24 boxes
Admin Biographical HistoryNeville Devonshire Sandelson was Member of Parliament for Hayes and Harlington constituency 1971-1983 (Labour MP 1971-1981, Social Democratic Party MP 1981-1983).
Sandelson was born in 1923 to a prosperous Leeds Jewish family and he was educated at Westminster School. He joined the Labour Party in 1939. He was a member of the London County Council for Stoke Newington and Hackney North, 1952-1958. He unsuccessfully contested eight General Elections and by-elections as a Labour Party candidate in six different constituencies: Ashford (Kent) (1950, 1951 and 1955), Beckenham (by-election, 1957), Rushcliffe (1959), Heston and Isleworth (1966), South West Leicester (by-election, 1967) and Chichester (1970).
He was elected as MP for Hayes and Harlington 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 the Hayes and Harlington Constituency Labour Party was a stormy one, and various attempts were made to de-select him as MP. He was a founder member and Treasurer of the Labour Party Manifesto Group (1975-1980). In 1981 he was one of the founding members of the SDP, and continued to represent Hayes and Harlington as MP until losing his seat in the General Election of 1983. Sandelson never held government office but he did hold office in various parliamentary groups, including being Secretary of the British Gibraltar Parliamentary Group and Vice-Chairman of the Afghanistan Parliamentary Support Committee.
After 1983, Sandelson continued to be active in politics outside parliament. He remained a member of the SDP until 1987, when he allowed his membership to lapse. He campaigned in support of the return of a Conservative government in the 1987 General Election. In 1988 he and Stephen Haseler co-founded the Radical Society, a cross-party forum for debate on political and other issues. In 1996 he re-joined the Labour Party.
As well his career in politics, Sandelson worked in a wide variety of areas, including as a barrister, a deputy circuit judge and assistant recorder, a political and business consultant and a producer of television programmes.
DescriptionThe collection includes a series of scrapbooks of press cuttings covering Sandelson's period as an MP, files relating to the Hayes and Harlington constituency, and papers on the Labour Party and the SDP. Sandelson took a keen interest in foreign affairs, and there are files on the Middle East, Afghanistan, Gibraltar and Northern Ireland. There is also an extensive collection of photographs documenting his political life.
Access StatusMainly open; some items closed
Access ConditionsOne file is closed
Copyright TypeCopyright is held by the Library
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