Defectors II

Christopher Mayhew was educated at Haileybury, where he became the distributor for Giles Romilly’s leftist public-school magazine Out of Bounds. He was Labour MP for South Norfolk (1945-50) and Woolwich East (1951-74). Put in charge of Labour’s first TV election broadcast in 1951 he later opposed the development of ITV, preferring “a second, competitive, public service system.”

He became disillusioned with Labour and in his book Party Games (1969), set out the problems as he saw them. He decried the party system but noted, “the belief that our parliamentary system would be improved if MPs were free from party ties is plainly nonsense. 640 independent MPs would be a recipe for chaos.” He joined the Liberals, contesting Bath in October 1974 and 1979.