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Last updated:18 June 2015

Foundation of the ILP

The Independent Labour Party (ILP) was founded in 1893 in Bradford by Scottish politician Keir Hardie.  In 1900 it joined with the trade unions and other socialist groups in forming the Labour Representation Committee, which later became the Labour Party.  It was formed, as the name suggests, to set up a Labour Party genuinely independent of the Liberals, who were the main Parliamentary opposition to the Conservatives at that time.

Until 1918 ILP branches were the only local organisation the Labour Party had.  Many of the major figures in the Labour Party's rise in the early part of the century were also members of the Independent Labour Party.

In 1921 many former members of the ILP left the Labour Party to join the Communist Party, and in 1932 the party severed all connections with the Labour Party. After the death of its well respected leader Jimmy Maxton, the party was all but finished as a force in Parliament.

In 1975 the party changed its name to the Independent Labour Publications and used its resources to support particular struggles including the anti poll tax campaign.

For more about the ILP click here