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The Bow Group is one of the oldest think tanks in the United Kingdom. Taking its name from the Bow area of London where it first met, it was founded in 1951. Their first pamphlet, Coloured People In Britain, was published in 1952. The group conducts research, publishes reports, engages in political debate, and produces the quarterly members magazine Crossbow.

The Bow Group argued that it was open to all Conservatives, and that it neither expressed a collective view nor organised meetings of MPs; rather it adopted an independent freely critical standpoint, was a non-partisan think-tank capable of airing ideas from both the 'one-nation' and libertarian sides of the Conservative Party. Ian Waller, writing in the Sunday Telegraph in 1971, disagreed, making comparisons between the Bow Group and the Conservative Monday Club, said that the two organisations their members and aims, were as different as chalk from cheese, and that the then current mood among Conservatives meant that the Club's rising membership had overtaken that of the Bow Group. Bow Group membership in 1975 stood at 1000.

In 1984 the Group sought to keep Margaret Thatcher to her election promises, urging her to make tax cuts, reduce public spending, and reform the tax and social security system. The Group is not averse to opposing the policies of the Conservative Party.

In February 2005 it published a report by former government minister, Peter Lilley, strongly opposing Labour Government plans to introduce identity cards into the UK.

Prominent members of the group have included, Geoffrey Howe, William Rees-Mogg, Norman St John-Stevas, Michael Howard, Norman Lamont, Peter Lilley and Christopher Bland.


Chairmen of the Bow Group

1951-52 Bruce Griffiths
1952-53 James Lemkin
1953-54 Stone
1954-55 Williams
1955-56 Geoffrey Howe
1956-57 James Lemkin
1957-58 James Lemkin
1958-59 Russell Lewis
1959-60 David Hennessy
1960-61 Tom Hooson
1961-62 David Howell
1962-63 David Hennessy
1963-64 John MacGregor
1964-65 Leon Brittan
1965-66 Henry Bosch
1966-67 Julian Critchley
1967-68 Watts
1968-69 Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler
1969-70 Christopher Bland
1970-71 Michael Howard
1971-72 Norman Lamont
1972-73 Peter Lloyd
1973-74 Peter Lilley
1974-75 Peter Lilley
1975-76 Patricia Hodgson
1976-77 Clarke
1977-78 Michael Stern
1978-79 French
1979-80 Barber
1980-81 Richard Simmons
1981-82 Nirj Deva
1982-83 Colin Coulson-Thomas
1983-84 David Shaw
1984-85 Michael Lingens
1985-86 Nick Perry
1986-87 Nigel Waterson
1987-88 Cheryl Gillan
1988-89 Marie-Louise Rossi
1989-90 Ian Donaldson
1990-91 David Harvey
1991-92 Jerome Dexter-Smith
1992-93 Nick Hawkins
1993-94 David Campbell-Bannerman
1994-95 Alexander Nicoll
1995-96 Button
1996-97 Jeremy Bradshaw
1997-98 Nick Green
1998-99 Nick Edgar
1999-2000 Andrew Jones
2000-01 Guy Strafford
2001-02 Damian Hinds
2002-03 Jocelyn Ormond
2003-04 Giles Taylor
2004-05 Chris Philp
2005-06 Kwasi Kwarteng
2006-07 Sam Gyimah
2007-08 Chris Skidmore
2008-09 Annesley Abercorn
2009-10 Annesley Abercorn


  • Copping, Robert, The Story of The Monday Club - The First Decade, Foreword by George Pole, Current Affairs Information Service, Ilford, Essex, April 1972, (P/B), p.28.
  • Coxall, Bill, and Lynton Robins, Contemporary British Politics, Macmillan Publishers, London, first published 1989, revised reprint 1992, p.239, (P/B), ISBN 0-333-34046-9
  • Barr, James, The Bow Group: A History, Politico's Publishing, London, 2001,

ISBN 1-84275-001-1

See also

External links



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