Search

Campaigner who changed Labour Party rules from Golders Green home dies aged 95

09:00 29 June 2014

Vera Derer and Vladimir Derer at their Golders Green home in 1981. Picture: Geoffrey White/Associated Newspapers/REX.

Vera Derer and Vladimir Derer at their Golders Green home in 1981. Picture: Geoffrey White/Associated Newspapers/REX.

Copyright (c) 1981 Rex Features. No use without permission.

A left-wing activist who ran an influential Labour Party campaign group from his Golders Green home has died aged 95.

Vladimir Derer founded the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) with his wife Vera in 1973 and used their Park Drive home as the organisation’s headquarters for the next 25 years.

The CLPD, which arose from the disappointments of the Harold Wilson governments, campaigned for changes to the constitution of the Labour Party to make Labour MPs and Labour governments more accountable to the party membership.

Among the CLPD’s most significant achievements was its successful campaign to require sitting Labour MPs to face re-selection once during every parliament.

In 1980, the party conference decreed that henceforth all sitting MPs should have to re-apply for the party’s nomination once during each term in office.

Until that time, it was virtually impossible for a constituency party to remove a sitting MP in a safe seat.

At its peak, more than 100 constituency Labour parties were affiliated to the CLPD and many MPs, including the future leader Neil Kinnock, were paid-up members.

Mr Derer had moved to the UK at the age of 19 from his native Czechoslovakia, which he fled shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War during which his politician father was imprisoned by the Nazis.

In 1951, Mr Derer married Vera, a psychiatric social worker and later a lecturer in sociology, who he met while they were both students at the London School of Economics in the late 1940s.

He worked as a guide for a travel company, escorting tours to eastern Europe, until the 1960s when he joined the Labour Party and gave up his job to keep house while Vera became the breadwinner.

The CLPD still exists but has little of its historic influence, especially since the Derers were forced to take a back seat in recent years due to poor health.

Mr Derer died on June 10 and is survived by his wife.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 09:00
International cosmetic surgery expert Cindy Jackson and Ian Carmichael, the Queen’s personal hair stylist, will both be speaking at the event at Lauderdale House

Highgate resident and international cosmetic surgery expert Cindy Jackson is helping Lauderdale House raise funds for a building project to transform its future.

Fri, 19:51
Naushad Faruk. Picture: Central News.

A glamour model from Camden sobbed as she described how a cameraman persuaded her to engage in a sex act with him by threatening to take away the Chihuahua puppy he had given her as a gift.

Fri, 18:40
Jihadi John

The secondary school that ISIS executioner ‘Jihadi John’ attended in St John’s Wood has said it is ‘shocked and sickened by the news’.

Fri, 18:14
A swastika has been daubed at the top of Highgate West Hill in Highgate

A police investigation has been launched as more offensive swastika signs have been found graffitied on notice boards and bus shelters near Hampstead Heath.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

The political editor will be taking time off for treatment.

It involves a picture of a hand. You can guess what shape it is making.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder