Below is the text of the Social Democrats press release in support of John Major, issued on 17 February 1992. There is also a Conservative Party press release.
SOCIAL DEMOCRATS FOR JOHN MAJOR
Twenty former members of the SDP, including five of the Party’s 1987 General Election candidates, two former National Secretaries, a former Policy Director and a political advisor to the Rt. Hon. Dr. David Owen MP, have backed the Conservative Party and will be urging other former SDP members to vote for John Major and the Conservatives at the next election.
The text of a statement released by the Group is given below:
“Throughout the 1980s the Conservatives and the SDP were the only parties to stand firm on the key issues of the day – the market economy, trade union reforms, the Falklands War and Britain’s defence.
In 1990 the SDP realised it was no longer a viable political party and wound itself up.
Now, in the 1990s, only the Conservatives support the social market economy, strong and independent defence, a firm voice for Britain in Europe and urgent reform of the public sector to make it more responsive to its users.
Our decision to join the Conservative Party is also a reflection of the changes in policy initiated by John Major – to abandon the community charge, unfreeze child benefit and tackle the urgent problem of homelessness – while not abandoning its commitment to the defeat of inflation, sound money and the privatisation programme.
The next election will be a watershed for Britain. Either we can continue to move forward with the Conservatives or we can retreat into the past with Labour, or another dismal Lib-Lab pact. Both would prolong the recession by destroying Britain’s competitiveness.
The key to Britain’s future is a strong but socially responsible market economy, generating the economic growth necessary to spread prosperity and opportunity to all the people of Britain. We shall argue that case as strongly in John Major’s Conservative Party in the 1990s as we did in the SDP of the 1980s”.
National and Policy Committees 1986-90. Parliamentary candidate (Brent East) 1987. Political advisor to Rt. Hon. Dr. David Owen MP since 1986. Currently group editor, VNU Business Publications.
National Secretary (Chief Executive) 1989-90. General Secretary, The Tawney Society (SDP think tank) 1987-88. National Secretary, SDP Students 1987. Currently Public Affairs Consultant, Good Relations Ltd.
National Secretary (Chief Executive) 1989. Director of Campaigns 1988-89. Election Agent (Bath) 1987. Currently studying for MBA at Cranfield.
Director of Policy 1988-90. Policy assistant to Rt. Hon. Dr. David Owen MP 1987-88. Policy Officer, SDP Headquarters, 1986-87. Currently freelance journalist and columnist.
Parliamentary Candidate (Uxbridge) 1987. Founder, Young Social Democrats, 1982. Speechwriter, ‘Dukakis for President’ campaign, 1988.
Currently account director, Royle Communications.
Member, National and Policy committees, 1982-84. First SDP member, National Union of Students’ National Executive Committee. Writer and lecturer on women’s issues. Currently managing social infrastructure components of large scale property developments for Stanhope Plc.
Parliamentary candidate (Bolsover) 1987. Member, Council for Social Democracy. National Secretary Young Social Democrats 1983-84. Currently energy commodities trader.
Member, Council for Social Democracy, 1983-89. President, SDP students, 1985-86. President, Lancaster University Student’s Union, 1983-84. Currently Public Affairs Manager for a leading UK company.
National Press Officer 1986-87. Local Council Candidate 1983. Greenwich by-election press officer 1987. Currently Public Affairs Manager for a large international company.
Member, Council for Social Democracy 1987-90. Policy advisor to parliamentary party (education and health) 1988-89. Currently information technology journalist.
Secretary to Deputy National Organiser, 1985-86, SDP Press Office 1986-87. Personal assistant to Rosie Barnes MP 1987-90. After a spell in the City with Kidder Peabody she is currently a public affairs consultant.
Member, Council for Social Democracy 1988-90. Party consultant on information technology 1989-90. Author of articles on IT and public sector service reform and co-author of Social Market Foundation pamphlet on telecoms policy. Currently management consultant with leading international firm.
President, Social Democratic Youth and Students, 1989-90. Currently studying for postgraduate qualification.
Founder, Cambridge University SDP 1988. Currently systems analyst, large merchant bank.
Vice President, SDP Students 1989-90.
Member, National Committee, SDP Students, 1988-90. Member, Esher Area SDP Committee 1988-90. Currently studying British & US Politics at the University of Kent.
Member, Council for Social Democracy 1988-90. Currently an international Chess Grandmaster and Britain’s leading chess player.
President, Reading University Student’s Union 1987-88. Local Council Candidate 1988. Committee member, Berkshire Area SDP, 1987. Currently public relations consultant for A Plus Group.
Member, National Committee, 1984-86. Parliamentary candidate (Great Yarmouth) 1987. European candidate (Norfolk) 1989. President, SDP Students, 1983. (Chairman of Aberystwyth University Conservative Association 1980).
Parliamentary candidate (Brent North) 1987. Islington Councillor 1986-89 (Chief Whip of Opposition Group). Currently Public Affairs Consultant and manager of aid programmes in Poland.
In addition also attending:
Founding Trustee of the SDP.
Former Trustee of the Campaign for Social Democracy (between 1987-88). PPC for Plymouth Drake in 1987.