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Originally an activist in the Nottingham Young Communist League, Allen was involved in the late 60s in a stunt that saw the flag of the Vietnamese National Liberation Front hauled up Nottingham castle.
Within a short period, Allen became the full-time London District Secretary of the YCL and as such was heavily supportive of the revisionist trend within the national leadership of the YCL. In this period, Allen lived in Hayes, West Middlesex. In the late 1970s, he stood as a Communist Party candidate for Botwell ward, Hayes, in the London borough of Hillingdon (thanks to Michael Walker for the contemporary candidate picture - see right below - from the local press).
Allen supported the CPGB EC in its assault against the Morning Star in the 1980s. He is pictured (left) speaking at the 1987 congress of the CPGB.
In the Noughties, Allen was President of the Community and Youth Workers Union (CYWU), which later was to merge with the T&G and is now part of the Not-for-Profit sector of Unite – the union.