A hundred people gathered at the Capstone Theatre in Everton, part of the Walton constituency this evening to attend the inaugural Eric Heffer Memorial Lecture.
Present MP Dan Carden spoke wonderfully about his predecessor’s heritage.
Eric won the seat for Labour back in 1964, setting the local party on the path to political dominance in the area. He became our longest-serving MP.
Never a yes man, Eric started life in Hertfordshire, brought up in the Labour and Cooperative Movement. A carpenter by trade, Eric became a life long trade unionist. After ten years in the Communist Party, he rejected Stalinism and joined the Labour Party. Moving to Liverpool and marrying his beloved Doris, Eric became a mainstay of the local Labour movement.
Probably most famous for storming out of the hall in protest at then leader Neil Kinnock’s attacks on Liverpool City Council’s anti-cuts campaign, Eric became both a Minister and a rebel.
Dan Carden was introduced by CLP chair Lena Simic and Audrey White, selected by the TUC as one of its most influential women of the last hundred years.
After Dan’s magisterial lecture, many speakers, both young and old, spoke movingly about their memories of Eric, his ideas and legacy. It was an excellent event, a great launch of what will be an annual event.
Words: Alan Gibbons
Photos: Paul McGowan