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Last updated:18 June 2015

Creation of the Labour Party

The origins of the Labour Party go back to 1900 with the foundation of the Labour Representation Committee. It was created with the goal of changing the British Parliament to represent everybody. Ignored by the Tories and disillusioned with the Liberals, a coalition of different groups and interests came together at a meeting on labour representation at the Memorial Hall in London in February 1900. The Labour Representation Committee (LRC) did not officially adopt the title the Labour Party until 1906.

This somewhat uneasy alliance of trade union and socialist delegates made no specific commitment to social ideology, but resolved to set up a distinct labour group within Parliament. While gaining popularity in areas around the country, it was not until 1906 that Labour made any significant gains in Parliament. In the 1906 election, the LRC won 29 seats - helped by the pact between Ramsay MacDonald and Liberal chief whip Herbert Gladstone, which aimed at preventing Labour/Liberal contests in the interest of removing the Conservatives from office. In their first meeting following this election, the LRC's newly elected Members of Parliament voted to change the Party's name to the Labour Party.

Labout Party conference 1906