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Bill Dunn

A young worker in print and then the engineering industry, Bill Dunn joined the YCL whilst living in the Kings Cross area of London and was active in the Islington branch. Later, in the post war period, he moved to the Midlands to work full time for the Party and was North Staffordshire Area Secretary, then Midlands Industrial Organiser and finally BirminghamCity Secretary. At the Party’s request, he left the Midlands in 1967 and returned to London, where he worked as Industrial Organiser until he became London District Secretary in 1982. He was elected to the Party’s Executive Committee at the 38th Congress, and then subsequently to the Political Committee.
 
During the 1970s, Dunn was prominent in the major labour movement activities of the period. He played a vital role in the struggle against Labour’s `In Place of Strife’, in support of the Pentonville 5, in solidarity with the miners’ strikes of 1972 and 1974 and the Grunwick dispute. His role in the Anti-Nazi League and against the war in the Falklands was outstanding.
 
Bill Dunn ranged himself, along with most other `industrial’, or trade union, activists within the Party in the anti-revisionist camp. His untimely death on October 6th 1984 led to a crisis in the London District, as the conflict over the then Executive’s policy of controlling the Morning Star led to a struggle over Dunn’s replacement, the centre assuming control of the District so as to influence the District Committee to be elected at the then forthcoming District Congress. As this looked an increasingly forlorn plan, with the opposition mainly coming from Dunn’s team of industrially-focused Londoners, the Congress was simply dissolved by the leadership. The fall-out led directly to the formation of the re-established Communist Party of Britain in 1988. Dunn died very suddenly around this time.
 
Source: Comment November 1984; GS personal knowledge