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Michael Lavalette during a Make Poverty History Rally.
Michael Lavalette (born 1962) is a national member of the Respect Party - The Unity Coalition . He was elected as a Socialist Alliance candidate shortly after the start of the Iraq War. He is also a member of the Socialist Workers Party, and a Senior lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Liverpoolmarker. Along with Chris Jones, Iain Feguson, and Laura Penketh, he was an author of the Social Work manifesto for a new engaged practice and organiser of the Liverpool and Glasgow conferences of the Social Work Action Network (SWAN). A movement which stands in the radical social work tradition and seeks to oppose the increased managerialism and privatisation within the social work profession, and to promote social work practice based on principles of social justice.

Lavalette originally joined his local Labour Party in North Ayrshire at the age of 16 in 1979, but by January 1981 he had left to join the SWP. In the early 1990s he moved to Preston for work and became politically active in the local labour movement.

In Preston he is the co-ordinator of the local Stop the War Coalition. He organised a solidarity day in Preston for victims of the Asian Tsunami and has led campaigns against hospital privatisation, Islamaphobia, the wars in the Middle East and support for local trade unionists on strike.

He regularly writes for the local paper the Lancashire Evening Post.

In May 2007 he was re-elected to Preston council with the largest vote ever recorded in the Town Centre ward.

2003 Election

Lavalette stood as a Socialist Alliance Against the War candidate. He was well known in the area as the leader of the local Stop the War Coalition. The "Against The War" label was crucial in gaining him victory in a ward with over 40% Muslim voters. At the time sentiment against Labour and in particular the pro-war local MP, Mark Hendrick, was running high. It is questionable if the Socialist Alliance platform alone would have been sufficient for victory in such a ward.

George Galloway was alleged to have backed Michael Lavalette in this election, which was one of the charges that led to George Galloway being expelled from the Labour Party.

2005 election

In 2005 he stood as a Respect candidate in the Parliamentary elections for Preston coming fourth with almost 7% of the vote, which is considered very high for a fourth party and saved his deposit.

2007 Election

Lavalette kept his council seat, Preston Town Centre, with 1179 votes (52%).

Published works

  • Child labour in the social structure (1992)
  • Child employment in the capitalist labour market (1994)
  • Solidarity on the waterfront: the Liverpool lock out of 1995/96 (with Jane Kennedy) (1996)
  • Social policy: a conceptual and theoretical introduction (edited with Alan Pratt) (1996)
  • Anti-racism and social welfare (edited with Laura Penketh and Chris Jones) (1998)
  • A thing of the past?: child labour in Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (editor) (1999)
  • Child labor: a world history companion (with Sandy Hobbs and Jim McKechnie) (1999)
  • Class struggle and social welfare (edited with Gerry Mooney) (2000)
  • Leadership and social movements (edited with Colin Barker and Alan Johnson) (2001)
  • Rethinking social welfare: a critical perspective (with Iain Ferguson and Gerry Mooney) (2002)
  • Children, welfare and the state (edited with Barry Goldson and Jim McKechnie) (2002)
  • A Palestine Journey; Respect For Palestine (pamphlet)
  • Globalisation, global justice and social work (edited with Iain Ferguson and Elizabeth Whitmore) (2005)
  • George Lansbury and the rebel councillors of Poplar (foreword by George Galloway) (2006)
  • International Social Work and the Radical Tradition edited with Iain Ferguson (2007)


  1. Galloway expelled from Labour
  2. RESPECT - The Unity Coalition - News

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