Skip to main content

Strategy & Tactics Committee, 1977-1981


  • How to

This committee was the successor to the Tactical Committee, which had ceased to exist after 1974. It met for the first time on 13th December 1977, and met usually every fortnight, chaired by Margaret Thatcher and with a membership representing all areas of the Party. It was formed initially to prepare for the expected general election and its early minutes reflect this, but it also went on to discuss by-elections, Party conference, referenda, and other topical issues. Its membership consisted of:-

  1. Margaret Thatcher
  2. William Whitelaw
  3. Lord Thorneycroft
  4. Lord Carrington
  5. Sir Keith Joseph
  6. Humphrey Atkins
  7. Edward du Cann
  8. Alistair McAlpine
  9. Angus Maude
  10. Lady Young

Although some work on strategy continued after the 1979 General Election, notably by Party Chairman Lord Thorneycroft, the Strategy and Tactics Committee appears to have fallen into abeyance. But in a memorandum from Thorneycroft to Alan Howarth, Director of the Conservative Research Department dated 26th October, 1979 [Shelfmark: CCO 20/7/26] he states that Mrs Thatcher had instructed him to arrange meetings on a regular basis to coordinate Party strategy with that of the Government's. These meetings were to be attended by the following:-

  1. Leader of the House of Commons, Norman St John -Stevas
  2. Chief Whip, Michael Jopling
  3. Paymaster General, Angus Maude
  4. Party Chairman, Lord Thorneycroft
  5. Deputy Party Chairman, Alistair McAlpine
  6. Vice-Chairman (Local Government), Sir Frank Marshall
  7. Director of the Conservative Research Department, Alan Howarth
  8. Head of the Policy Unit at No. 10, John Hoskyns

No record of subsequent meetings survive beyond February 1980, if indeed any were held.


  • Creation: 1977-1981

Language of Materials

  • English

Full range of shelfmarks:

CCO 20/7/22-28

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom