25th Mar 2019

Lord Shore, Labour eurosceptic peer, dies

Lord Shore of Stepney, one of the best-known Eurosceptic peers and a former Minister in Harold Wilson's Cabinet, has died, aged 77. As Peter Shore he was one of Hugh Gaitskell's advisers when the latter led the Labour Party in opposition to the Common Market. Though Mr Shore did not actually write the famous speech in which Gaitskell spoke of Britain abandoning a thousand years of history, he was responsible for the policy document on which the speech was based. Later he became MP for Stepney in East London and a Minister in Harold Wilson's Government. During the Labour Party's years in the wilderness he continued to oppose Britain's further integration into the European Community, not changing his mind even when the Party did so under Neil Kinnock's leadership.

In 1997, Peter Shore stepped down as an MP and was made a Life Peer. As Lord Shore of Stepney he was an active member of the House of Lords, leading the fight against Britain's participation in EMU, the Common Defence Policy and other "euro-nonsense" as he called. it. He wrote books and articles on political matters. His last book "Separate Ways : The Heart of Britain", published last year, was probably the best and most cogently argued presentation of the eurosceptic case.

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Lord Shore has suffered from ill health for some time but this did not stop him from attending Parliament regularly. He used to stomp up and down the corridors, expressing his opinion freely about the nefarious practices of the government and anyone else he disapproved of. As he once said: "The older I get, the angrier I get." Earlier this year, he collapsed in the House after making one of his fiery speeches, so dreaded by the government ministers. Lord Shore will be much missed.

The memory of Peter Shore will never die

His memory will never die among European eurosceptics or eurorealists or simply European democrats, which is how we characterised our common views in our last conversations in a tent at Trafalgar Square where both of us spoke in a rally with 10,000 persons and almost 10,000 umbrellas. (And no press coverage).

Obituary of Lord Peter Shore, written by Jens-Peter Bonde, Chair for SOS Democracy and the Group of Democracies and Diversities in the European Parliament


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