City Council: 1983 - 1987
March 12, 1987, for the first time in history, in spite of massive
support shown by the polls and demonstrations of upward of fifty
thousand on the streets of Liverpool, five Law Lords upheld the
decision of an unelected district auditor who surcharged and
expelled from office 47 democratically elected Labour councillors.
The 47 Liverpool socialist councillors were faced with imprisonment,
bankruptcy, and victimisation.
From 1983 until their removal the 'Liverpool 47' built five
thousand houses, created thousands of jobs, opened more nursery
schools than any other city and they refused to transfer the burden
of Tory government cuts on to the backs of the working people of
Liverpool's 47 socialist councillors adopted the slogan of ‘Better
to Break the Law than Break the Poor’ which was first used by the
jailed councillors of Poplar in 1919. They were the only council who
succeeded in extracting extra funding from the then Tory
Because the Liverpool 47 socialist councillors carried out their
socialist promises the achievements of that council have been buried
in an avalanche of distortion.
The purpose of this website is to rescue from obscurity the
great events and the personalities of those years and to open them
to the scrutiny of anyone wishing for a serious examination of this
key period in Liverpool’s history.