Three decades ago he debated with Militant leaders who warned about degeneration of his party
Labour MP Austin Mitchell – who is retiring at the May 2015 general election – in a newspaper interview on Sunday dismissed Ukip’s chances of winning the Great Grimsby constituency, saying that Labour would win the seat "even" if it had selected a "raving alcoholic sex paedophile" as its candidate.
What contempt towards working people in his constituency!
He later tried to disassociate himself from the remark, claiming he ’didn’t remember saying it’.
This week is the anniversary of the beginning of the expulsion of Militant supporters from the Labour Party over three decades ago – which, at the time, Militant warned would lead to the destruction of the Labour Party as a party for working class people.
A television debate in Blackpool during the 1982 Labour Party conference brought together Austin Mitchell and prospective parliamentary candidate John Spellar, debating with editor of the Militant, Peter Taaffe, and prospective parliamentary candidate for Liverpool Toxteth, Tony Mulhearn.
The subject of the debate was the issue of exclusion of Militant supporters from the Labour Party, steps towards which were being taken at that year’s party conference.
Militant was the forerunner of the Socialist Party (www.socialistparty.org.uk)