Robert Maclennan


Former leader of the SDP, Robert Maclennan, has died aged 83. Formed in 1981, the Social Democratic Party aimed to break the mold of British politics, but by 1988 the two party mold had broken the SDP instead, so they looked to a unification with the Liberals. Dr David Owen, leader of the SDP, was against this, and everyone else in the party, including the membership, was in favour so Owen quit the party, which now needed a miracle worker. Luckily they had Robert Maclennan, a former Labour MP for Caithness who had defected to the SDP, and then, unusually for a defectee, held onto his seat in 2 general elections.

Maclennan successfully merged his party with the Liberals to create the Liberal Democrat Party. He then sat on their front bench, became their President in the 1990s, retired after a 35 year career as a member of parliament, became a conscientious member of the House of Lords, and has now died to widespread tribute from nobles and Joe Constituents alike.

David Owen, on the other hand, formed another version of the SDP, and promptly finished below the Monster Raving Loony Party in the next available by-election.

Maclennan was picked by two teams: Departures Board and regulars Unusual Suspects.


Robert Maclennan
26 June 1936 – 18 January 2020
2 picks