Newport Labour Party

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Minute Books 1916- 1976; Financial Records 1935-1968; Correspondence Files 1968-1972

Administrative / Biographical History

The Newport and District Labour Party was founded in February 1913 as part of the growing labour movement within Wales. The party was initially not very successful as there were many other local socialist and trade union groups in Newport which attracted the newly enfranchised working classes. A joint meeting was held by the Labour Party and the Newport Trades Council, the largest of these local organisations, on 4 April 1918. This resulted in the decision to amalgamate the two associations to form the Labour Representative Committee of the Newport Trade and Labour Council. This new body was then affiliated to the Federation of Labour Parties.

The Labour Representative Committee was also referred to as the Newport Labour Party and both names are used in the records until the 1940s. After this date, Newport Labour Party is consistantly used. The Party attracted support from a variety of groups which were committed to the constitution and progress of the Labour Party. These included affiliated Trade Union branches, Trade Council, socialist societies, co-operative societies and individual men and women. Representatives from each of these six groups were included in the General Committee to ensure that all members had some influence in the Committee. Newport Labour Party attracted members from a large cross-section of the local population through its emphasis on social events such as dances. This resulted in a high percentage of women members who soon became the driving force of the Party by 1924.

Before 1918, parliamentary representation of Newport was divided between Monmouthshire and Shropshire (Newport Division) constituencies. Newport only became a constituency in its own right in 1918 when the electoral districts were re-organised. The Labour Party maintained a strong influence in this area and dominated the local and general elections. In 1983, the electoral boundaries were again altered with the result that Newport was divided into two parliamentary seats; Newport East and Newport West.

Sources: Newport & District Labour Party Minute Book, 1912-1914 (GB 217 SWCC : MNA/POL/14/1); Newport & District Labour Party Minute Book, 1914-1918 (GB 217 SWCC : MNA/POL/14/2); Labour Representation Committee of Newport Trades & Labour Party, 1918-1921 (GB 217 SWCC : MNB/POL/6/A/1)

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A hardcopy list is available in the searchroom.

Alternative Form Available

No information known at the time of compilation.

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Related Material

Further records of the Newport Trades and Labour Council may be found in GB 217 SWCC : MNA/POL/14

Geographical Names