Giles Radice

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Person.png Giles Radice   Amazon C-SPAN IMDB PowerbaseRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Official portrait of Lord Radice.jpg
BornGiles Heneage Radice
4 October 1936
Alma materWinchester College, Magdalen College (Oxford)
ChildrenSophie Radice
Member ofKönigswinter/Speakers
A template for Tony Blair arguing for "modernization" of the Labour Party. A leading member of the European Movement in the UK.

Employment.png Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Science

In office
2 October 1983 - 13 July 1987
Preceded byNeil Kinnock
Succeeded byJack Straw

Employment.png Member of Parliament for North Durham

In office
1 March 1973 - 7 June 2001
Succeeded byKevan Jones

Giles Heneage Radice, Baron Radice is a Labour member of the House of Lords. He was previously a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1973 to 2001, [1][2] where his arguments for "modernization" of the Labour Party foreshadowed Tony Blair.

Early life

Radice was educated at Winchester College and Magdalen College, Oxford. He worked as a research officer for the General and Municipal Workers' Union and was chair of the Young Fabians from 1967 to 1968.

Parliamentary career

Radice first stood for Parliament at Chippenham in 1964 and 1966, but came third each time. He was elected Labour Member of Parliament for Chester-le-Street from a 1973 by-election to 1983 and then North Durham until his retirement in 2001.[3]

Radice served as Education spokesman in the Labour Shadow Cabinet under Neil Kinnock in the 1980s. As chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, Radice helped make the monetary policy committee of the Bank of England accountable to both Parliament and the people for its decisions over interest rates.[4] He was a member of the House of Lords European Union Sub-Committee on external affairs until March 2015.[3]

A europhile, Radice was one of only five Labour MPs to vote for the Third Reading of the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, defying his party Whip, which was to abstain.[5]

He was made a life peer as Baron Radice, of Chester-le-Street in the County of Durham, on 16 July 2001.[6]

Writing and political ideas

As an advocate of the need for Labour to ditch traditional dogmas, Radice was In his 1989 book Labour's Path to Power: The New Revisionism, Radice set out his vision for a modernised Labour Party, which included abandoning Clause IV of the party constitution. His highly influential and widely quoted Southern Discomfort pamphlet in 1992 also argued the case for neoliberal changes.

Philip Stephens later wrote in the Financial Times, "At that time, Giles Radice, then an MP, wrote a brilliant essay on what he called Labour's 'southern discomfort'. The party would not win, he argued, unless and until it managed to connect its ambitions for social justice with the individualistic aspirations of the voters in southern England. Here was the template for Mr Blair."[7] Radice returned to this theme following Labour's 2010 defeat: his Southern Discomfort Again pamphlet (with Patrick Diamond) found that voters perceived that Labour had run out of steam, were out of touch (particularly on immigration), unfair and poorly led. A committed pro-European, Radice has for many years been a leading member both of the European Movement and Britain in Europe, and wrote a polemic called Offshore in 1992, in which he put the case for Britain in Europe.

After his retirement as an MP in 2001 Radice, wrote Friends and Rivals, an acclaimed triple biography of three modernisers from an earlier generation—Roy Jenkins, Denis Healey, and Anthony Crosland—arguing that their failure to work more closely together had harmed the modernising cause. This was followed by The Tortoise and the Hares, a comparative biography of Clement Attlee, Ernest Bevin, Stafford Cripps, Hugh Dalton and Herbert Morrison. Trio: Inside the Blair, Brown, Mandelson Project was published in 2010. In a review of Trio, Andrew Blick wrote that, "With his previous work Friends and Rivals (2002) and The Tortoise and the Hares (2008), Radice developed a distinctive approach to contemporary history, using group biography ....Radice adds to his historical approach not only a readable writing style, but the judgements of an experienced Labour politician."[8]

Other positions

Lord Radice has been a member of the advisory board of the Centre for British Studies of Berlin's Humboldt University since 1998.[9]

He is a member of the Fabian Society. He is a former chair of the British Association for Central and Eastern Europe (BACEE), and was chair of the European Movement, 1995–2001. He is also a former chairman of Policy Network, the international progressive think tank based in London.


Event Participated in

Bilderberg/19958 June 199511 June 1995Greece
Nafsika Astir Palace Hotel
The 43rd Bilderberg. Held at the Burgenstock Hotel in Burgenstock, Switzerland.


  3. a b
  4. House of Commons Treasury Select Committee Accountability of the Bank of England, 1st Report 1997 - 1998 and Confirmation Hearings 3rd Report 1997-1998
  7. Financial Times 6 June 2006
  8. Political Quarterly, Vol 82, Issue 2, 2011, pp. 322-25.
  9. Humboldt University of Berlin Advisory Council website,; accessed 21 February 2016.