Swinton Circle

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The Swinton Circle is a right-wing pressure group. The Guardians, Hugh Muir describes it as inhabiting 'the murky ground between the crazies on the far right and the outer reaches of David Cameron's Conservative party.'[1]

the Monday Club is but one example of a dense network of Tory links with the far right.
Look, for example, to the 500-strong pro-Tory pressure group the Swinton Circle, formed in the 1970s by backers of Enoch Powell. Their regular journal informs us that in this country we are suffering from "an asylum invasion". We should "dismantle the BBC" and put its "far-left" commentators out of a job. And the British National Party is merely a "breakaway party" from the Tories.[2]

Northern Ireland links

Like the Monday Club, the Swinton Circle has been a staunch supporter of the unionist cause in Northern Ireland, and has had a number of unionist speakers over the years.

The January 2005 newsletter of the London Swinton Circle, reported on an address delivered by North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds on 17 November 2004, the same day that the DUP and Sinn Fein received details of the British and Irish Governments’ blueprint for a way forward.

“Circle meetings are covered by Chatham House rules and thus we operate restricted reporting, but we are able to sum up the key points,” the newsletter account reads.
“It was a well attended meeting and Nigel Dodds created an extremely favourable impression on all who attended with his candour and honesty.
“He said: The DUP were in no hurry to achieve a deal and would not be cowed by the deadlines set by HMG [Her Majesty’s Government]. The DUP would only reach a deal if it could be certain it would bring lasting and real peace to Ulster. This meant decommissioning of all terrorist weapons positive proof that this was happening, such as documented proof of photographs, video footage, inventories, witnesses present at the decommissioning, etc.”[3]

Alan Harvey split

Major divisions developed in the Circle in 2008 between Alan Harvey, the London chair, and Gregory Lauder-Frost, the former political secretary of the Monday Club.[1]




  1. 1.0 1.1 Hugh Muir, Diary, The Guardian, 19 August 2008.
  2. Il Duce's heirs, by Johann Hari, News Statesman, 10 December 2001.
  3. DUP 'in no hurry to achieve a deal', by Tom Griffin, Irish World, 7 January 2005.