General and Executive Committee minute book of the South Paddington Divisional Labour Party.
South Paddington Divisional Labour Party
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Administrative / Biographical History
In the 1895 General Election the Independent Labour Party put up 28 candidates but won only 44,325 votes. James Keir Hardie (1856-1915), the leader of the party believed that to obtain success in parliamentary elections, it would be necessary to join with other left-wing groups. On 27th February 1900, representatives of all the socialist groups in Britain (the Independent Labour Party, the Social Democratic Federation and the Fabian Society, met with trade union leaders at the Memorial Hall in Farringdon Street, London. After a debate the 129 delegates decided to pass Hardie's motion to establish 'a distinct Labour group in Parliament, who shall have their own whips, and agree upon their policy, which must embrace a readiness to cooperate with any party which for the time being may be engaged in promoting legislation in the direct interests of labour.' To make this possible the Conference established a Labour Representation Committee (LRC). This committee included two members from the Independent Labour Party, two from the Social Democratic Federation, one member of the Fabian Society, and seven trade unionists. Ramsay MacDonald (1866-1937) was chosen as the secretary of the LRC. As he was financed by his wealthy wife, Margaret MacDonald (died 1911) he did not have to be paid a salary. The LRC put up fifteen candidates in the 1900 General Election and between them they won 62,698 votes. Two of the candidates, Keir Hardie and Richard Bell (1866-1937) won seats in the House of Commons. The party did even better in the 1906 election with twenty nine successful candidates. Later that year the LRC decided to change its name to the Labour Party.
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