European Parliamentary Labour Party

Scope and Content

The collection includes; European Parliamentary Labour Party (EPLP) minutes, correspondence, briefing documents and press releases, election correspondence and publicity. Correspondence of individual MEPs, debates and reports of the European Parliament, official visits to the European Parliament, papers relating to other European political organisations and the British Labour Party.

Administrative / Biographical History

The United Kingdom joined the European Common Market on 1st January 1973 and was able to send 36 members to the European Parliament. From January 1973 to June 1979 these were nominated by the British parliament. In June 1979 the first direct elections to the European Parliament took place, the records in this collection are of the British Parliamentary Labour Party and cover the period from 1979 to 2004. Until the late 1980s the Labour party was very much anti-European. Party policy focused on nationalisation and protectionism, the European Community was seen by some in the party as an exploitative common market supporting capitalist domination over working people. From the late 1980s under the leadership of Neil Kinnock, John Smith and later Tony Blair, the party gradually warmed in their attitude towards the community and especially the protections it offered to working people and consumers. This collection includes correspondence and reports of the British Labour Group and some relating to organisations of which they were affiliated to such as the European Socialist Group. It also includes personal and constituency correspondence of Labour MEPs and copies of speeches.


The collection has been arranged in 9 series: EPLP minutes, EPLP correspondence, EPLP briefing documents and press releases, EPLP election correspondence and publicity, British Labour Group MEPs personal correspondence (by person), European Parliament debates and reports; Nation State Issues, International Issues, Agriculture/Environment/Social Issues, Economic Issues, Defence Issues, Trade Union Issues, Anti-Fascist/Human Rights Issues, Official Visits to European Parliament, Partner organisations and groups in the European Parliament, British Labour Party papers and conference reports.

Access Information


Other Finding Aids

A searchable file level catalogue can be found by clicking EPLP Full Catalogue (Searchable) above.

Archivist's Note

Catalogued by James E Darby, Jul 2017

Custodial History

The European Parliamentary Labour Party deposited its archive at the People's History Museum (formerly the National Museum of Labour History) in Manchester. The collection is now held at the Labour History Archives and Study Centre (LHASC), which is based at the People's History Museum.


Further accruals are possible.

Related Material

  • LEI – Papers of Ron Leighton
  • BEE – Papers of Colin Beevor and Labour Committee for Europe
  • CAN – Papers of David Candler