LONDON, Jan. 17, Reuter: Negotiations for Britain’s Liberal and Social Democratic (SDP) parties, after a week of conflict, announced on Sunday they had reached agreement on a plan to merge and break the mold of British politics.
The New Delhi policy document, welcomed by officials of both parties, is the second attempt to write a constitution designed to forge a party capable of challenging the ruling conservatives.
When the Liberal Party rebelled against the first document last week, the future of the alliance appeared to be thrown into serious doubt.
Merger talks have been held since the general election last June when the two parties, standing as an alliance, won only 22 seats between them.
The rebellion against the first document underlined differences that have dogged talks throughout.
Liberal officials protested that it surrendered to Robert MacLennan’s Social Democrats in committing the joint party to Britain’s Trident Nuclear missiles and higher purchase taxes.
The new document was drawn up by a six man joint committee which said details would’ remain secret until it had been considered by both leaderships on Monday.
Former Liberal’ President Des Wilson, who had denounced the first draft constitution as barely literate and too rightwing, told Reporters after Sunday’s talks: “I’m. Pleased to say we’ve reached accord on a policy document we can confidently commend to our parties”.
Article extracted from this publication >> January 22, 1988