The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph referred to as The Telegraph, is a national British daily broadsheet newspaper published in London by Telegraph Media Group and distributed across the United Kingdom and internationally. It was founded by Arthur B. Sleigh in 1855 as Daily Telegraph & Courier; the Telegraph is regarded as a national "newspaper of record" and it maintains an international reputation for quality, having been described by the BBC as "one of the world's great titles". The paper's motto, "Was, is, will be", appears in the editorial pages and has featured in every edition of the newspaper since 19 April 1858; the paper had a circulation of 363,183 in December 2018, having declined following industry trends from 1.4 million in 1980. Its sister paper, The Sunday Telegraph, which started in 1961, had a circulation of 281,025 as of December 2018; the Daily Telegraph has the largest circulation for a broadsheet newspaper in the UK and the sixth largest circulation of any UK newspaper as of 2016. The two sister newspapers are run separately, with different editorial staff, but there is cross-usage of stories.
Articles published in either may be published on the Telegraph Media Group's www.telegraph.co.uk website, under the title of The Telegraph. Editorially, the paper is considered conservative; the Telegraph has been the first newspaper to report on a number of notable news scoops, including the 2009 MP expenses scandal, which led to a number of high-profile political resignations and for which it was named 2009 British Newspaper of the Year, its 2016 undercover investigation on the England football manager Sam Allardyce. However, including the paper's former chief political commentator Peter Oborne, accuse it of being unduly influenced by advertisers HSBC; the Daily Telegraph and Courier was founded by Colonel Arthur B. Sleigh in June 1855 to air a personal grievance against the future commander-in-chief of the British Army, Prince George, Duke of Cambridge. Joseph Moses Levy, the owner of The Sunday Times, agreed to print the newspaper, the first edition was published on 29 June 1855; the paper was four pages long.
The first edition stressed the quality and independence of its articles and journalists: We shall be guided by a high tone of independent action. However, the paper was not a success, Sleigh was unable to pay Levy the printing bill. Levy took over the newspaper, his aim being to produce a cheaper newspaper than his main competitors in London, the Daily News and The Morning Post, to expand the size of the overall market. Levy appointed his son, Edward Levy-Lawson, Lord Burnham, Thornton Leigh Hunt to edit the newspaper. Lord Burnham relaunched the paper as The Daily Telegraph, with the slogan "the largest and cheapest newspaper in the world". Hunt laid out the newspaper's principles in a memorandum sent to Levy: "We should report all striking events in science, so told that the intelligent public can understand what has happened and can see its bearing on our daily life and our future; the same principle should apply to all other events—to fashion, to new inventions, to new methods of conducting business".
In 1876, Jules Verne published his novel Michael Strogoff, whose plot takes place during a fictional uprising and war in Siberia. Verne included among the book's characters a war correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, named Harry Blount—who is depicted as an exceptionally dedicated and brave journalist, taking great personal risks to follow the ongoing war and bring accurate news of it to The Telegraph's readership, ahead of competing papers. In 1908, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany gave a controversial interview to The Daily Telegraph that damaged Anglo-German relations and added to international tensions in the build-up to World War I. In 1928 the son of Baron Burnham, Harry Lawson Webster Levy-Lawson, 2nd Baron Burnham, sold the paper to William Berry, 1st Viscount Camrose, in partnership with his brother Gomer Berry, 1st Viscount Kemsley and Edward Iliffe, 1st Baron Iliffe. In 1937, the newspaper absorbed The Morning Post, which traditionally espoused a conservative position and sold predominantly amongst the retired officer class.
William Ewart Berry, 1st Viscount Camrose, bought The Morning Post with the intention of publishing it alongside The Daily Telegraph, but poor sales of the former led him to merge the two. For some years the paper was retitled The Daily Telegraph and Morning Post before it reverted to just The Daily Telegraph. In the late 1930s Victor Gordon Lennox, The Telegraph's diplomatic editor, published an anti-appeasement private newspaper The Whitehall Letter that received much of its information from leaks from Sir Robert Vansittart, the Permanent Under-Secretary of the Foreign Office, Rex Leeper, the Foreign Office's Press Secretary; as a result, Gordon Lennox was monitored by MI5. In 1939, The Telegraph published Clare Hollingworth's scoop. In November 1940, with Fleet Street subjected to daily bombing raids by the Luftwaffe, The Telegraph started printing in Manchester at Kemsley House, run by Camrose's brother Kemsley. Manchester quite printed the entire run of The Telegraph when its Fleet Street offices were under threat.
The name Kemsley House was changed to Thomson House in 1959. In 1986 printing of Northern editions of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph moved to Trafford Park and in 2008 to Newsprinters at Knowsley, Liverpool. During the Second World War, The Daily Telegraph covertly helped in the recruitment of code-breakers for Bletchley Park; the ability to solve The Telegraph's crossword in under 12 minutes was considered to be a recruitment test. The newspaper was asked to organise a crossword competition, after wh
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson
Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, was a British flag officer in the Royal Navy. He was noted for his inspirational leadership, grasp of strategy, unconventional tactics, which together resulted in a number of decisive British naval victories during the Napoleonic Wars, he was wounded several times in combat, losing the sight in one eye in Corsica at the age of 36, as well as most of one arm in the unsuccessful attempt to conquer Santa Cruz de Tenerife when 40 years of age. He was shot and killed at the age of 47 during his final victory at the Battle of Trafalgar near the Spanish port city of Cádiz in 1805. Nelson was born into a moderately prosperous Norfolk family and joined the navy through the influence of his uncle, Maurice Suckling, a high-ranking naval officer himself, he rose through the ranks and served with leading naval commanders of the period before obtaining his own command at the age of 20 in 1778. He developed a reputation in the service through his personal valour and firm grasp of tactics but suffered periods of illness and unemployment after the end of the American War of Independence.
The outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars allowed Nelson to return to service, where he was active in the Mediterranean. He fought in several minor engagements off Toulon and was important in the capture of Corsica and subsequent diplomatic duties with the Italian states. In 1797, he distinguished himself while in command of HMS Captain at the Battle of Cape St Vincent. Shortly after the battle, Nelson took part in the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where his attack was defeated and he was badly wounded, losing his right arm, was forced to return to England to recuperate; the following year, he won a decisive victory over the French at the Battle of the Nile and remained in the Mediterranean to support the Kingdom of Naples against a French invasion. In 1801, he was dispatched to the Baltic and won another victory, this time over the Danes at the Battle of Copenhagen, he subsequently commanded the blockade of the French and Spanish fleets at Toulon and, after their escape, chased them to the West Indies and back but failed to bring them to battle.
After a brief return to England, he took over the Cádiz blockade in 1805. On 21 October 1805, the Franco-Spanish fleet came out of port, Nelson's fleet engaged them at the Battle of Trafalgar; the battle was Britain's greatest naval victory, but during the action, aboard HMS Victory, was fatally wounded by a French sharpshooter. His body was brought back to England. Nelson's death at Trafalgar secured his position as one of Britain's most heroic figures; the significance of the victory and his death during the battle led to his signal, "England expects that every man will do his duty", being quoted and referenced up to the modern day. Numerous monuments, including Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square and the Nelson Monument in Edinburgh, have been created in his memory and his legacy remains influential. Horatio Nelson was born on 29 September 1758 in a rectory in Burnham Thorpe, England, the sixth of eleven children of the Reverend Edmund Nelson and his wife Catherine Suckling, he was named after his godfather Horatio Walpole 2nd Baron Walpole, of Wolterton.
His mother, who died on 26 December 1767, when he was nine years old, was a great-niece of Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, the de facto first Prime Minister of Great Britain. She lived in the village of Barsham and married the Reverend Edmund Nelson at Beccles church, Suffolk, in 1749. Nelson's aunt, Alice Nelson was the wife of Reverend Robert Rolfe, Rector of Hilborough and grandmother of Sir Robert Monsey Rolfe. Rolfe twice served as Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain. Nelson attended Paston Grammar School, North Walsham, until he was 12 years old, attended King Edward VI’s Grammar School in Norwich, his naval career began on 1 January 1771, when he reported to the third-rate HMS Raisonnable as an ordinary seaman and coxswain under his maternal uncle, Captain Maurice Suckling, who commanded the vessel. Shortly after reporting aboard, Nelson began officer training. Early in his service, Nelson discovered that he suffered from seasickness, a chronic complaint that dogged him for the rest of his life.
HMS Raisonnable had been commissioned during a period of tension with Spain, but when this passed, Suckling was transferred to the Nore guardship HMS Triumph and Nelson was dispatched to serve aboard the West Indiamen Mary Ann of the merchant shipping firm of Hibbert and Horton, in order to gain experience at sea. He twice crossed the Atlantic, before returning to serve under his uncle as the commander of Suckling's longboat, which carried men and dispatches to and from the shore. Nelson learned of a planned expedition under the command of Constantine Phipps, intended to survey a passage in the Arctic by which it was hoped that India could be reached: the fabled North-East Passage. At his nephew's request, Suckling arranged for Nelson to join the expedition as coxswain to Commander Lutwidge aboard the converted bomb vessel HMS Carcass; the expedition reached within ten degrees of the North Pole, unable to find a way through the dense ice floes, was forced to turn back. By 1800 Lutwidge began to circulate a story that while the ship had been trapped in the ice, Nelson had seen and pursued a polar bear, before being ordered to return to the ship.
Lutwidge's version, in 1809, reported that Nelson and a companion had given chase to the bear, but on bei
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, was a British Labour politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976. Entering Parliament in 1945, Wilson was appointed a parliamentary secretary in the Attlee ministry and rose through the ministerial ranks. In opposition to the next Conservative government, he served as Shadow Chancellor and Shadow Foreign Secretary. Hugh Gaitskell Labour leader, died in 1963 and Wilson was elected leader. Narrowly winning the 1964 general election, Wilson won an increased majority in a snap 1966 election. Wilson's first period as Prime Minister coincided with a period of low unemployment and relative economic prosperity, though hindered by significant problems with Britain's external balance of payments. In 1969 he sent British troops to Northern Ireland. After losing the 1970 election to Edward Heath, he spent four years as Leader of the Opposition before the February 1974 election resulted in a hung parliament.
After Heath's talks with the Liberals broke down, Wilson returned to power as leader of a minority government until another general election in October, resulting in a narrow Labour victory. A period of economic crisis had begun to hit most Western countries, in 1976 Wilson announced his resignation as Prime Minister. Wilson's approach to socialism was moderate compared to others in his party at the time, emphasising programmes aimed at increasing opportunity in society, rather than on the controversial socialist goal of promoting wider public ownership of industry. Himself a member of the party's "soft left", Wilson joked about leading a cabinet made up of social democrats, comparing himself to a Bolshevik revolutionary presiding over a Tsarist cabinet, but there was arguably little to divide him ideologically from the cabinet majority. Overall, Wilson is seen to have managed a number of difficult political issues with considerable tactical skill, including such divisive issues for his party as the role of public ownership, membership of the European Community, the Vietnam War.
His stated ambition of improving Britain's long-term economic performance was left unfulfilled. He lost his energy and drive in his second premiership, accomplished little as the leadership split over Europe and trade union issues began tearing Labour apart. Wilson was born at 4 Warneford Road, Huddersfield, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, on 11 March 1916, he came from a political family: his father James Herbert Wilson was a works chemist, active in the Liberal Party, going as far as to be Winston Churchill's deputy election agent in his 1908 by election before joining the Labour Party. His mother Ethel was a schoolteacher before her marriage; when Wilson was eight, he visited London and a much-reproduced photograph was taken of him standing on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street. At the age of ten he went with his family to Australia, where he became fascinated with the pomp and glamour of politics. On the way home he told his mother, "I am going to be Prime Minister." Wilson won a scholarship to attend Royds Hall Grammar School, his local grammar school in Huddersfield in Yorkshire.
His father, working as an industrial chemist, was made redundant in December 1930, it took him nearly two years to find work. Wilson was educated in the Sixth Form at the Wirral Grammar School for Boys, where he became Head Boy. Wilson did well at school and, although he missed getting a scholarship, he obtained an exhibition. At Oxford, Wilson was moderately active in politics as a member of the Liberal Party but was influenced by G. D. H. Cole, his politics tutor, R. B. McCallum, considered Wilson as the best student he had, he graduated in PPE with "an outstanding first class Bachelor of Arts degree, with alphas on every paper" in the final examinations, a series of major academic awards. Biographer Roy Jenkins wrote: Academically his results put him among prime ministers in the category of Peel, Asquith, no one else. But...he lacked originality. What he was superb at was the quick assimilation of knowledge, combined with an ability to keep it ordered in his mind and to present it lucidly in a form welcome to his examiners.
He continued in academia, becoming one of the youngest Oxford dons of the century at the age of 21. He was a lecturer in Economic History at New College from 1937, a research fellow at University College. On New Year's Day 1940, in the chapel of Mansfield College, Oxford, he married Mary Baldwin who remained his wife until his death. Mary Wilson became a published poet, they had two sons and Giles. In their twenties, his sons were under a kidnap threat from the IRA because of their father's prominence. On the outbreak of the Second World War, Wilson volunteered for military service but was classed as a specialist and moved into the civil service instead. For much of
The New Statesman is a British political and cultural magazine published in London. Founded as a weekly review of politics and literature on 12 April 1913, it was connected with Sidney and Beatrice Webb and other leading members of the socialist Fabian Society, such as George Bernard Shaw, a founding director, they had supported The New Age, a journal edited by A. R. Orage, but by 1912 that journal moved away editorially from supporting Fabian politics and women's suffrage. Today, the magazine is a print-digital hybrid. According to its present self-description, it has a liberal, political position; the magazine was founded in 1913 by members of the Fabian Society as a weekly review of politics and literature. The longest-serving editor was Kingsley Martin, the current editor is Jason Cowley, who assumed the post in 2008; the magazine has notably recognized and published new writers and critics, as well as encouraged major careers. Its contributors have included John Maynard Keynes, Bertrand Russell, Virginia Woolf, Christopher Hitchens, Paul Johnson.
The magazine was affectionately referred to as "The Staggers" because of crises in funding and circulation. The nickname is now used as the title of its politics blog. Circulation has surged again in recent years. In 2016, the certified average circulation was 34,025. Traffic to the magazine's website that year reached a new high with 27 million page views and four million unique users. Associated websites are CityMetric and NewStatesman Tech. In 2018, New Statesman America was launched; the New Statesman was founded in 1913 by Sidney and Beatrice Webb with the support of George Bernard Shaw and other prominent members of the Fabian Society. The Fabians had supported The New Age but that journal by 1912 had moved away from supporting Fabian politics and issues such as women's suffrage; the first editor of the New Statesman was Clifford Sharp, who remained editor until 1928. Desmond MacCarthy joined the paper in 1913 and became literary editor, recruiting Cyril Connolly to the staff in 1928. J. C. Squire edited the magazine.
In November 1914, three months after the beginning of the war, the New Statesmen published a lengthy anti-war supplement by Shaw, "Common Sense About The War", a scathing dissection of its causes, which castigated all nations involved but savaged the British. It created an international sensation; the New York Times reprinted it as America began its lengthy debate on entering what was called "the European War". During Sharp's last two years in the post, from around 1926, he was debilitated by chronic alcoholism and the paper was edited by his deputy Charles Mostyn Lloyd. Although the Webbs and most Fabians were associated with the Labour Party, Sharp was drawn to the Asquith Liberals. Lloyd stood in after Sharp's departure until the appointment of Kingsley Martin as editor in 1930 – a position Martin was to hold for 30 years. In 1931 the New Statesman merged with the Liberal weekly The Nation and Athenaeum and changed its name to the New Statesman and Nation, which it kept until 1964; the chairman of The Nation and Athenaeum's board was the economist John Maynard Keynes, who came to be an important influence on the newly merged paper, which started with a circulation of just under 13,000.
It absorbed The Week-end Review in 1934. The Competition feature, in which readers submitted jokes and parodies and pastiches of the work of famous authors, became one of the most famous parts of the magazine. Most famously, Graham Greene won second prize in a challenge to parody his own work. During the 1930s, Martin's New Statesman moved markedly to the left politically, it became anti-fascist and pacifist, opposing British rearmament. After the 1938 Anschluss, Martin wrote: "Today if Mr. Chamberlain would come forward and tell us that his policy was one not only of isolation but of Little Englandism in which the Empire was to be given up because it could not be defended and in which military defence was to be abandoned because war would end civilization, we for our part would wholeheartedly support him."The magazine provoked further controversy with its coverage of Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union. In 1932, Keynes reviewed Martin's book on the Soviet Union, Low's Russian Sketchbook. Keynes argued that Martin was'a little too full of good will' towards Stalin, that any doubts about Stalin's rule had'been swallowed down if possible'.
Martin still allowed it to be printed. In a 17 September 1932 editorial, the magazine accused the British Conservative press of misrepresenting the Soviet Union's agricultural policy but added that "the serious nature of the food situation is no secret and no invention"; the magazine defended the Soviet collectivization policy, but said the policy had'proceeded far too and lost the cooperation of farmers'. In 1934 it ran an interview with Stalin by H. G. Wells. Although sympathetic to aspects of the Soviet Union, Wells disagreed with Stalin on several issues; the debate resulted in several more articles in the magazine. In 1938 came Martin's refusal to publish George Orwell's celebrated dispatches from Barcelona during the Spanish civil war because they criticised the communists for suppressing the anarchists and the left-wing Workers' Party of Marxist Unification.'It is an unfortunat
The Benedictines the Order of Saint Benedict, are a monastic Catholic religious order of monks and nuns that follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. They are sometimes called the Black Monks, in reference to the colour of the members' religious habits. Despite being called an order, the Benedictines do not operate under a single hierarchy but are instead organised as a collection of independent monastic communities, with each community within the order maintaining its own autonomy. Unlike other religious orders, the Benedictines do not have a superior general or motherhouse with universal jurisdiction. Instead, the order is represented internationally by the Benedictine Confederation, an organisation, set up in 1893 to represent the order's shared interests; the monastery at Subiaco in Italy, established by Saint Benedict of Nursia c. 529, was the first of the dozen monasteries he founded. He founded the Abbey of Monte Cassino. There is no evidence, that he intended to found an order and the Rule of Saint Benedict presupposes the autonomy of each community.
When Monte Cassino was sacked by the Lombards about the year 580, the monks fled to Rome, it seems probable that this constituted an important factor in the diffusion of a knowledge of Benedictine monasticism. It was from the monastery of St. Andrew in Rome that Augustine, the prior, his forty companions set forth in 595 on their mission for the evangelization of England. At various stopping places during the journey, the monks left behind them traditions concerning their rule and form of life, also some copies of the Rule. Lérins Abbey, for instance, founded by Honoratus in 375 received its first knowledge of the Benedictine Rule from the visit of St. Augustine and his companions in 596. Gregory of Tours says that at Ainay Abbey, in the sixth century, the monks "followed the rules of Basil, Cassian and other fathers and using whatever seemed proper to the conditions of time and place", doubtless the same liberty was taken with the Benedictine Rule when it reached them. In Gaul and Switzerland, it supplemented the much stricter Irish or Celtic Rule introduced by Columbanus and others.
In many monasteries it entirely displaced the earlier codes. By the ninth century, the Benedictine had become the standard form of monastic life throughout the whole of Western Europe, excepting Scotland and Ireland, where the Celtic observance still prevailed for another century or two. Through the work of Benedict of Aniane, it became the rule of choice for monasteries throughout the Carolingian empire. Monastic scriptoria flourished from the ninth through the twelfth centuries. Sacred Scripture was always at the heart of every monastic scriptorium; as a general rule those of the monks who possessed skill as writers made this their chief, if not their sole active work. An anonymous writer of the ninth or tenth century speaks of six hours a day as the usual task of a scribe, which would absorb all the time available for active work in the day of a medieval monk. In the Middle Ages monasteries were founded by the nobility. Cluny Abbey was founded by William I, Duke of Aquitaine in 910; the abbey was noted for its strict adherence to the Rule of St. Benedict.
The abbot of Cluny was the superior of all the daughter houses, through appointed priors. One of the earliest reforms of Benedictine practice was that initiated in 980 by Romuald, who founded the Camaldolese community; the dominance of the Benedictine monastic way of life began to decline towards the end of the twelfth century, which saw the rise of the Franciscans and Dominicans. Benedictines took a fourth vow of "stability". Not being bound by location, the mendicants were better able to respond to an "urban" environment; this decline was further exacerbated by the practice of appointing a commendatory abbot, a lay person, appointed by a noble to oversee and to protect the goods of the monastery. Oftentimes, this resulted in the appropriation of the assets of monasteries at the expense of the community which they were intended to support; the English Benedictine Congregation is the oldest of the nineteen Benedictine congregations. Augustine of Canterbury and his monks established the first English Benedictine monastery at Canterbury soon after their arrival in 597.
Other foundations followed. Through the influence of Wilfrid, Benedict Biscop, Dunstan, the Benedictine Rule spread with extraordinary rapidity, in the North it was adopted in most of the monasteries, founded by the Celtic missionaries from Iona. Many of the episcopal sees of England were founded and governed by the Benedictines, no fewer than nine of the old cathedrals were served by the black monks of the priories attached to them. Monasteries served as places of refuge for the weak and homeless; the monks studied the healing properties of plants and minerals to alleviate the sufferings of the sick. Germany was evangelized by English Benedictines. Willibrord and Boniface preached there in the seventh and eighth centuries and founded several abbeys. In the English Reformation, all monasteries were dissolved and their lands confiscated by the Crown, forcing their Catholic members to flee into exile on the Continent. During the 19th century they were able to return to England, including to Selby Abbey in Yorkshire, one of the few great monastic churches to survive the Dissolution.
St. Mildred's Priory, on the Isle of Thanet, was built in 1027 on the site of an abbey founded in 670 by the daughter of the first Christian King of Kent; the priory is home to a community of Benedictine nuns. Five of
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom, described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists. The party's platform emphasises greater state intervention, social justice and strengthening workers' rights; the Labour Party was founded in 1900, having grown out of the trade union movement and socialist parties of the nineteenth century. It overtook the Liberal Party to become the main opposition to the Conservative Party in the early 1920s, forming two minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in the 1920s and early 1930s. Labour served in the wartime coalition of 1940-1945, after which Clement Attlee's Labour government established the National Health Service and expanded the welfare state from 1945 to 1951. Under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, Labour again governed from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1979. In the 1990s Tony Blair took Labour closer to the centre as part of his "New Labour" project, which governed the UK under Blair and Gordon Brown from 1997 to 2010.
After Corbyn took over in 2015, the party has moved leftward. Labour is the Official Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, having won the second-largest number of seats in the 2017 general election; the Labour Party is the largest party in the Welsh Assembly, forming the main party in the current Welsh government. The party is the third largest in the Scottish Parliament. Labour is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance, holds observer status in the Socialist International, sits with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament; the party includes semi-autonomous Scottish and Welsh branches and supports the Social Democratic and Labour Party in Northern Ireland. As of 2017, Labour had the largest membership of any party in Western Europe; the Labour Party originated in the late 19th century, meeting the demand for a new political party to represent the interests and needs of the urban working class, a demographic which had increased in number, many of whom only gained suffrage with the passage of the Representation of the People Act 1884.
Some members of the trades union movement became interested in moving into the political field, after further extensions of the voting franchise in 1867 and 1885, the Liberal Party endorsed some trade-union sponsored candidates. The first Lib–Lab candidate to stand was George Odger in the Southwark by-election of 1870. In addition, several small socialist groups had formed around this time, with the intention of linking the movement to political policies. Among these were the Independent Labour Party, the intellectual and middle-class Fabian Society, the Marxist Social Democratic Federation and the Scottish Labour Party. At the 1895 general election, the Independent Labour Party put up 28 candidates but won only 44,325 votes. Keir Hardie, the leader of the party, believed that to obtain success in parliamentary elections, it would be necessary to join with other left-wing groups. Hardie's roots as a lay preacher contributed to an ethos in the party which led to the comment by 1950s General Secretary Morgan Phillips that "Socialism in Britain owed more to Methodism than Marx".
In 1899, a Doncaster member of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, Thomas R. Steels, proposed in his union branch that the Trade Union Congress call a special conference to bring together all left-wing organisations and form them into a single body that would sponsor Parliamentary candidates; the motion was passed at all stages by the TUC, the proposed conference was held at the Memorial Hall on Farringdon Street on 26 and 27 February 1900. The meeting was attended by a broad spectrum of working-class and left-wing organisations—trades unions represented about one third of the membership of the TUC delegates. After a debate, the 129 delegates passed Hardie's motion to establish "a distinct Labour group in Parliament, who shall have their own whips, 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." This created an association called the Labour Representation Committee, meant to co-ordinate attempts to support MPs sponsored by trade unions and represent the working-class population.
It had no single leader, in the absence of one, the Independent Labour Party nominee Ramsay MacDonald was elected as Secretary. He had the difficult task of keeping the various strands of opinions in the LRC united; the October 1900 "Khaki election" came too soon for the new party to campaign effectively. Only 15 candidatures were sponsored. Support for the LRC was boosted by the 1901 Taff Vale Case, a dispute between strikers and a railway company that ended with the union being ordered to pay £23,000 damages for a strike; the judgement made strikes illegal since employers could recoup the cost of lost business from the unions. The apparent acquiescence of the Conservative Government of Arthur Balfour to industrial and business interests intensified support for the LRC against a government that appeared to have little concern for the industrial proletariat and its problems. In the 1906 election, the LRC won 29 seats—helped by a secret 1903 pact between Ramsay MacDonald and Liberal Chief Whip Herbert Gladstone that aimed to avoid splitting the opposition vote between Labour and Liberal candidates in the interest of removing the Conservatives from office.
In their first meeting after the election the group's Members of Parliament decided to adop