Featured 24 Jan 1981 Image
Delegates at the Labour Party Conference at Wembley to vote on rule changes to the party
Delegates at the Labour Party Conference at Wembley to vote on rule changes to the party and the leadership election structure.
After Labours defeat in 1979 the party descended into civil war between left and right wing factions. The left were determined to end the exclusive right of Labour MPs to elect the leader.
The stakes had been raised by the threat of four senior former Labour cabinet ministers to form a new party if the exclusive right of Labour MPs to elect the leader was removed.
Undeterred the conference voted to introduce a new system whereby the unions, constituency parties and MPs would each have a third share in electing the leader.
The gang of Four: Roy Jenkins, Shirley Williams, Bill Rodgers and David Owen formed the Social Democratic Party and Labour was out of office until 1997 when Tony Blair led it back to power.
The conference has gone down in Labour Party history as "The Battle of Wembley". 24th January 1981