Liberal-Labour (UK)

Last updated
Liberal-Labour
Leader Thomas Burt
Founder George Odger
FoundedFebruary 17, 1870 (1870-02-17)
DissolvedDecember 14, 1918 (1918-12-14)
National affiliation Liberal Party

The Liberal–Labour movement refers to the practice of local Liberal associations accepting and supporting candidates who were financially maintained by trade unions. These candidates stood for the British Parliament with the aim of representing the working classes, while remaining supportive of the Liberal Party in general.

Contents

The first Lib–Lab candidate to stand was George Odger in the 1870 Southwark by-election. The first Lib–Lab candidates to be elected were Alexander MacDonald and Thomas Burt, both members of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain (MFGB), in the 1874 general election. In 1880, they were joined by Henry Broadhurst of the Operative Society of Masons and the movement reached its peak in 1885, with twelve MPs elected. These include William Abraham (Mabon) in the Rhondda division whose claims to the Liberal nomination were essentially based on his working class credentials.

The candidates generally stood with the support of the Liberal Party, the Labour Representation League and one or more trade unions. After 1885, decline set in. Disillusion grew from the defeat of the Manningham Mills Strike, a series of decisions restricting the activity of unions, culminating in the Taff Vale Case and largely unchallenged by the Liberal Party, and the foundation of the Independent Labour Party in 1893 followed by its turn towards trade unionism.

The formation of the Labour Representation Committee in 1900, followed by the Labour Party in 1906, meant that in the House of Commons, there were two groups of MPs containing trade union–sponsored MPs, sitting on either side of the chamber (about 28 took the Labour whip and about 23 took the Liberal whip). The Trades Union Congress decided to instruct its affiliate unions to require their MPs to stand at the next election as Labour Party candidates and take the Labour whip. Of the 23 trade union–sponsored Liberal MPs, 15 were sponsored by unions affiliated to the Miners Federation of Great Britain (MFGB). When the MFGB affiliated to the Labour Party in 1909, most of their MPs joined Labour after the January 1910 general election.

The Liberal-Labour group finally died out at the 1918 general election, when Thomas Burt (by then Father of the House) and Arthur Richardson stood down.

List of Liberal-Labour MPs

NameConstituencyUnionFromToNotes
William Abraham Rhondda SWMF/MFGB [1] 18851910Joined the Labour Party in 1910
Joseph Arch North West Norfolk NALU 18851886
Joseph Arch North West Norfolk NALU/None18921900
William Brace Glamorganshire, South MFGB [1] 19061909Joined the Labour Party in 1909
Henry Broadhurst Stoke-upon-Trent Masons 18801885
Henry Broadhurst Birmingham Bordesley Masons 18851886
Henry Broadhurst Nottingham West Masons 18861892
Henry Broadhurst Leicester Masons [1] 18941906
John Burns Battersea Local committee [1] 18921905Sits as a Liberal after joining the Henry Campbell-Bannerman cabinet. Retires as MP in 1918.
Thomas Burt Morpeth NMA/MFGB [1] 18741918
William Pollard Byles Shipley None18921895
Herbert James Craig Tynemouth None19061918
William Crawford Mid Durham DMA 18851890
Randal Cremer Haggerston ASCJ [1] 18851895
Randal Cremer Haggerston ASCJ 19001908
John Charles Durant Stepney None18851886
Enoch Edwards Hanley MFGB [1] 19061909Joined the Labour Party in 1909
Charles Fenwick Wansbeck NMA/MFGB [1] 18851918
Frederick Hall Normanton MFGB [1] 19051909Joined the Labour Party in 1909
William Edwin Harvey North East Derbyshire MFGB 19071910Joined the Labour Party in 1910
John George Hancock Mid Derbyshire MFGB 19091918Joined Labour Party 1910. Re-joined Liberal Party 1915.
John George Hancock Belper MFGB 19181923Sat as a Liberal.
George Howell Bethnal Green North East Operative Bricklayers 18851895
John Hagan Jenkins Chatham Associated Shipwrights [1] 19061906Joined the Labour Party soon after election
John Johnson Gateshead MFGB [1] 19041910 Jan
William Johnson Nuneaton MFGB [1] 19061909Joined the Labour Party in 1909
Barnet Kenyon Chesterfield MFGB 19131929Broadly a Liberal after 1918
Joseph Leicester West Ham South Glassmakers 18851886
Alexander Macdonald Stafford MNA 18741881
Fred Maddison Sheffield Brightside Typographical Association 18981900
Fred Maddison Burnley Typographical Association 19061910 Jan
George Nicholls North Northamptonshire NUAW 19061910 Jan
William Parrott Normanton MFGB 19041905
Ben Pickard Normanton YMA/MFGB 18851904
Arthur Richardson Nottingham South Local committee [1] 19061910 Jan
Arthur Richardson Rotherham 19171918
Thomas Richards West Monmouthshire MFGB [1] 19041909Joined the Labour Party in 1909
James Rowlands Finsbury East None [1] 18861895
Albert Stanley North West Staffordshire MFGB 19071910Joined the Labour Party in 1910
W. C. Steadman Stepney Barge Builders [1] 18981900
W. C. Steadman Finsbury Central Barge Builders 19061910 Jan
Henry Harvey Vivian Birkenhead ASCJ 19061910 Dec
John Wadsworth Hallamshire MFGB [1] 19061910Joined the Labour Party in 1910
John Williams Gower MFGB [1] 19061909Joined the Labour Party in 1909
Havelock Wilson Middlesbrough Sailors and Firemen 18921900
Havelock Wilson Middlesbrough Sailors and Firemen [1] 19061910 Jan
John Wilson Houghton-le-Spring DMA 18851886
John Wilson Mid Durham DMA/MFGB [1] 18901915
Sam Woods Ince MFGB 18921895
Sam Woods Walthamstow MFGB 18971900

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 "The labour members and the Labour Party", The Times , 30 January 1906