23rd January 2018
19:15 – 21:00
In Search of George Thomas
by Martin Shipton
George Thomas, the former Labour Cabinet Minister and Speaker of
the House of Commons, was the sycophant supreme of the British political system and arguably the most divisive figure in twentieth-century Welsh politics who, after his transformation from radical young socialist to Viscount Tonypandy – the fervent supporter of Margaret Thatcher and servile courtier to the Royal Family – who was described by poet Nigel Jenkins as ‘The Lord of Lickspit’.
Drawing on previously unpublished material from Thomas’ vast personal and political archive in the National Library of Wales, and interviews with many who knew him during his career, award-winning journalist Martin Shipton reveals the real George Thomas, the complex character behind the carefully crafted facade of the devout Christian, and discovers a number of surprising and shocking personae – which have previously been unknown, downplayed or overlooked – of this ultimate Political
· The draft-dodger during the Second World War.
· The Freemason.
· The alcohol-drinking ‘teetotaller’.
· The betrayer of the people of Aberfan.
· The master of patronage and fixer of Honours.
· The ‘confirmed bachelor’ and Methodist lay-preacher who sought the company of ‘rent boys’.
Martin Shipton also investigates fresh evidence relating to recent allegations that Thomas was a child rapist and sexually assaulted young men.
This is the book his dwindling number of supporters feared and his political opponents have been waiting for. Political Chameleon reveals the real George Thomas.