The Clause Four Group
was a grouping in British Labour student politics in the 1970s and 1980s set up on the 18th floor of Owens Park Hall of Residence at Manchester University, the same floor where John Mann
and Phil Woolas
first met at Manchester University. set up largely on the initiate of Fergus Nicholson
, the student organiser of the Communist Party of Great Britain
, who later led a faction within that party known as Straight Left
It controlled the National Organisation of Labour Students for a number of years, and was involved in a severe faction fight with the Militant Tendency for control of that organisation.
People who were involved at the time include Labour MPs Frazer Kemp,Mike Gapes, John Mann, John Denham, and Mark Lazarowicz, and MSPs Margaret Curran, Johann Lamont, and Sarah Boyack.
It was consolidated by "Operation Icepick" - when on the way to the Lancaster conference Clause IV pre-arranged to leave members of the Militant stranded at a motorway service station on the way to the crucial conference vote on delegates.
John Mann later commemorated Operation Icepick by leaving Militant supporters stranded 25 miles from London in an identikit plan to keep them away from Neil Kinnock's address to the London hosted IUSY international confrerence in 1983.