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Saturday, 5 December 2015

Labour Party (UK)

Keir Hardie, an idealistic Christian pacifist and temperance campaigner and MP, founded the Independent Labour Party to represent the laboring classes in the British Parliament. It held its first meeting on January 13, 1893.

Hardie was a lay preacher in the Evangelical Union Church for whom he became a lay preacher. He wrote, "The impetus which drove me first of all into the Labour movement and the inspiration which carried me on in it, has been derived more from the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth than all other sources combined."

In the 1895 general election, the Independent Labour Party put up 28 candidates but won only 44,325 votes. Keir Hardie believed that to obtain success in parliamentary elections, it would be necessary to join with other left-wing groups. so his party, together with various trade unions and the Fabian Society founded an association called the Labour Representation Committee (LRC). The group was formed at the Congregational Memorial Hall in North London on February 27, 1900 with the aim of coordinating attempts to support MPs sponsored by trade unions and represent the working-class population.

Portrait of ILP leader Keir Hardie painted at the time of the foundation of the organisation in 1893.
They received encouragement when on April 27 1904, The Australian Labor Party became the first such party to gain national government. It was a minority government and lasted only four months. The Labor leader, Chris Watson, was aged only 37, and is still the youngest Prime Minister in Australia's history.

In the General Election of 1906, 29 LRC MPs were elected. Of those 29, 18 were committed non-conformist Christians.

In their first meeting after the election on February 15, 1906, the group's Members of Parliament decided to adopt the name "The Labour Party" formally. Keir Hardie was elected as Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Ramsay Macdonald took office as Britain's first Labour Party Prime Minister on January 22, 1924.

The first ever election broadcast was made on the BBC on October 13, 1924, by Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald on behalf of the Labour party.

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