Evolution of the early Labour Party

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Independent Labour Party

  • Formed in 1893 by Kier Harding
  • Based on three sources of inflence:
    • Radical liberalism
    • Trade unionism
    • Non-conformity 
  • James Ramsay MacDonald joined in 1894 (went on to be the first Labour Prime Minister in 1924)
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Labour Representation Committee (LRC)

  • In 1900 some trade unions decided that more direct political action was needed.
  • A conference was held in which trade unions discussed how they could secure better representation of the interests of the Labour Party in the House of Commons.
  • Lead to the formation of a "distinct labour group in parliament who will have their own whips and agree upon their own policy".
  • Wanted to call it the United Labour Party but this was considered a bit controversial so they called it the LRC instead.
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Labour Party

  • The title was formally developed in 1906.
  • The MPs that were elected we're all working class, their wages were funded by trade unions.
  • The numerous candidates and groups within the party deided to work as a single parliamentory party.
  • The Miners Union didn't merge with the party until 1908 and when they did there was a clear change in the political weight of the party.
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