Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major parties in the United Kingdom with the opposing Conservative Party in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The party arose from an alliance of Whigs and free trade Peelites and Radicals favourable to the ideals of the American and French Revolutions in the 1850s. By the end of the 19th century, it had formed four governments under William Gladstone. Despite being divided over the issue of Irish Home Rule, the party returned to government in 1905 and won a landslide victory in the following year's general election. Under Prime Ministers Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and H. H. Asquith, the Liberal Party passed the welfare reforms that created a basic British welfare state. Although Asquith was the party's leader, its dominant figure was David Lloyd George. Asquith was overwhelmed by the wartime role of coalition Prime Minister and Lloyd George replaced him as Prime Minister in late 1916, but Asquith remained as Liberal Party leader; the pair fought for years over control of the party.
Historian Martin Pugh in The Oxford Companion to British History argues: Lloyd George made a greater impact on British public life than any other 20th-century leader, thanks to his pre-war introduction of Britain's social welfare system. Furthermore, in foreign affairs, he played a leading role in winning the First World War, redrawing the map of Europe at the peace conference, partitioning Ireland; the government of Lloyd George was dominated by the Conservative Party, which deposed him in 1922. By the end of the 1920s, the Labour Party had replaced the Liberals as the Conservatives' main rival; the party went into decline after 1918 and by the 1950s won no more than six seats at general elections. Apart from notable by-election victories, its fortunes did not improve until it formed the SDP–Liberal Alliance with the newly formed Social Democratic Party in 1981. At the 1983 general election, the Alliance won over a quarter of the vote, but only 23 of the 650 seats it contested. At the 1987 general election, its share of the vote fell below 23% and the Liberal and Social Democratic parties merged in 1988 to form the Liberal Democrats.
A splinter group reconstituted the Liberal Party in 1989. It was formed by party members opposed to the merger who saw the Liberal Democrats diluting Liberal ideals. Prominent intellectuals associated with the Liberal Party include the philosopher John Stuart Mill, the economist John Maynard Keynes and social planner William Beveridge; the Liberal Party grew out of the Whigs, who had their origins in an aristocratic faction in the reign of Charles II and the early 19th century Radicals. The Whigs were in favour of increasing the power of Parliament. Although their motives in this were to gain more power for themselves, the more idealistic Whigs came to support an expansion of democracy for its own sake; the great figures of reformist Whiggery were Charles James Fox and his disciple and successor Earl Grey. After decades in opposition, the Whigs returned to power under Grey in 1830 and carried the First Reform Act in 1832; the Reform Act was the climax of Whiggism, but it brought about the Whigs' demise.
The admission of the middle classes to the franchise and to the House of Commons led to the development of a systematic middle class liberalism and the end of Whiggery, although for many years reforming aristocrats held senior positions in the party. In the years after Grey's retirement, the party was led first by Lord Melbourne, a traditional Whig, by Lord John Russell, the son of a Duke but a crusading radical, by Lord Palmerston, a renegade Irish Tory and a conservative, although capable of radical gestures; as early as 1839, Russell had adopted the name of "Liberals", but in reality his party was a loose coalition of Whigs in the House of Lords and Radicals in the Commons. The leading Radicals were John Bright and Richard Cobden, who represented the manufacturing towns which had gained representation under the Reform Act, they favoured social reform, personal liberty, reducing the powers of the Crown and the Church of England, avoidance of war and foreign alliances and above all free trade.
For a century, free trade remained the one cause. In 1841, the Liberals lost office to the Conservatives under Sir Robert Peel, but their period in opposition was short because the Conservatives split over the repeal of the Corn Laws, a free trade issue; this allowed ministries led by Russell and the Peelite Lord Aberdeen to hold office for most of the 1850s and 1860s. A leading Peelite was William Ewart Gladstone, a reforming Chancellor of the Exchequer in most of these governments; the formal foundation of the Liberal Party is traditionally traced to 1859 and the formation of Palmerston's second government. However, the Whig-Radical amalgam could not become a true modern political party while it was dominated by aristocrats and it was not until the departure of the "Two Terrible Old Men", Russell and Palmerston, that Gladstone could become the first leader of the modern Liberal Party; this was brought about by Palmerston's death in 1865 and Russell's retirement in 1868. After a brief Conservative government, Gladstone won a huge victory at the 1868 election and formed the first Liberal government.
Voter turnout is the percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot in an election. Eligibility varies by country, the voting-eligible population should not be confused with the total adult population. Age and citizenship status are among the criteria used to determine eligibility, but some countries further restrict eligibility based on sex, race, or religion. After increasing for many decades, there has been a trend of decreasing voter turnout in most established democracies since the 1980s. In general, low turnout is attributed to indifference, or a sense of futility. According to Stanford University political scientists Adam Bonica and Michael McFaul, there is a consensus among political scientists that "democracies perform better when more people vote."Low turnout is considered to be undesirable. As a result, there have been many efforts to increase voter turnout and encourage participation in the political process. In spite of significant study into the issue, scholars are divided on the reasons for the decline.
Its cause has been attributed to a wide array of economic, cultural and institutional factors. Different countries have different voter turnout rates. For example, turnout in the United States 2012 presidential election was about 55%. In both Belgium, which has obligatory attendance, Malta, which does not, participation reaches about 95%. In Belgium there is obligatory attendance, misinterpreted as compulsory voting The chance of any one vote determining the outcome is low; some studies show that a single vote in a voting scheme such as the Electoral College in the United States has an lower chance of determining the outcome. Other studies claim that the Electoral College increases voting power. Studies using game theory, which takes into account the ability of voters to interact, have found that the expected turnout for any large election should be zero; the basic formula for determining whether someone will vote, on the questionable assumption that people act rationally, is P B + D > C, where P is the probability that an individual's vote will affect the outcome of an election, B is the perceived benefit that would be received if that person's favored political party or candidate were elected, D stood for democracy or civic duty, but today represents any social or personal gratification an individual gets from voting, C is the time and financial cost involved in voting.
Since P is zero in most elections, PB is near zero, D is thus the most important element in motivating people to vote. For a person to vote, these factors must outweigh C. Experimental political science has found that when P is greater than zero, this term has no effect on voter turnout. Enos and Fowler conducted a field experiment that exploits the rare opportunity of a tied election for major political office. Informing citizens that the special election to break the tie will be close has little mobilizing effect on voter turnout. Riker and Ordeshook developed the modern understanding of D, they listed five major forms of gratification that people receive for voting: complying with the social obligation to vote. Other political scientists have since added other motivators and questioned some of Riker and Ordeshook's assumptions. All of these concepts are inherently imprecise, making it difficult to discover why people choose to vote. Several scholars have considered the possibility that B includes not only a personal interest in the outcome, but a concern for the welfare of others in the society.
In particular, experiments in which subject altruism was measured using a dictator game showed that concern for the well-being of others is a major factor in predicting turnout and political participation. Note that this motivation is distinct from D, because voters must think others benefit from the outcome of the election, not their act of voting in and of itself. There are philosophical and practical reasons that some people cite for not voting in electoral politics. Robert LeFevre, Francis Tandy, John Pugsley, Frank Chodorov, George H. Smith, Carl Watner, Wendy McElroy, Lysander Spooner are some moderately well-known authors who have written about these reasons. High voter turnout is considered to be desirable, though among political scientists and economists specializing in public choice, the issue is still debated. A high turnout is seen as evidence of the legitimacy of the current system. Dictators have fabricated high turnouts in showcase elections for this purpose. For instance, Saddam Hussein's 2002 plebiscite was claimed to have had 100% participation.
Opposition parties sometimes boycott votes they feel are unfair or illegitimate, or if the election is for a government, considered illegitimate. For example, the Holy See instructed Italian Catholics to boycott national elections for several decades after the creation of the state of Italy. In some countries, there are threats of violence against those who vote, such as during the 2005 Iraq elections, an example of voter suppression. However, some political scientists question the view that high turnout is an implicit endorsement of the system. Mark
House of Commons of the United Kingdom
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House; the Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as Members of Parliament. Members are elected to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved; the House of Commons of England started to evolve in 14th centuries. It became the House of Commons of Great Britain after the political union with Scotland in 1707, assumed the title of "House of Commons of Great Britain and Ireland" after the political union with Ireland at the start of the 19th century; the "United Kingdom" referred to was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1800, became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922.
Accordingly, the House of Commons assumed its current title. Under the Parliament Act 1911, the Lords' power to reject legislation was reduced to a delaying power; the Government is responsible to the House of Commons and the Prime Minister stays in office only as long as she or he retains the confidence of a majority of the Commons. Although it does not formally elect the prime minister, the position of the parties in the House of Commons is of overriding importance. By convention, the prime minister is answerable to, must maintain the support of, the House of Commons. Thus, whenever the office of prime minister falls vacant, the Sovereign appoints the person who has the support of the House, or, most to command the support of the House—normally the leader of the largest party in the Commons, while the leader of the second-largest party becomes the Leader of the Opposition. Since 1963, by convention, the prime minister is always a member of the House of Commons, rather than the House of Lords.
The Commons may indicate its lack of support for the Government by rejecting a motion of confidence or by passing a motion of no confidence. Confidence and no confidence motions are phrased explicitly, for instance: "That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government." Many other motions were until recent decades considered confidence issues though not explicitly phrased as such: in particular, important bills that were part of the Government's agenda. The annual Budget is still considered a matter of confidence; when a Government has lost the confidence of the House of Commons, the prime minister is obliged either to resign, making way for another MP who can command confidence, or to request the monarch to dissolve Parliament, thereby precipitating a general election. Parliament sits for a maximum term of five years. Subject to that limit, the prime minister could choose the timing of the dissolution of parliament, with the permission of the Monarch. However, since the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, terms are now a fixed five years, an early general election is brought about by a two-thirds majority in favour of a motion for a dissolution, or by a vote of no confidence, not followed within fourteen days by a vote of confidence.
By this second mechanism, the UK's government can change its political composition without an intervening general election. Only four of the eight last Prime Ministers have attained office as the immediate result of a general election; the latter four were Jim Callaghan, John Major, Gordon Brown and the current Prime Minister Theresa May. In such circumstances there may not have been an internal party leadership election, as the new leader may be chosen by acclaim, having no electoral rival. A prime minister will resign after party defeat at an election if unable to lead a coalition, or obtain a confidence and supply arrangement, she or he may resign after a motion of no confidence or for health reasons. In such cases, the premiership goes to, it has become the practice to write the constitution of major UK political parties to provide a set way in which to appoint a new leader. Until 1965, the Conservative Party had no fixed mechanism for this, it fell to the Queen to appoint Harold Macmillan as the new prime minister, after taking the consensus of cabinet ministers.
By convention, ministers are members of the House of House of Lords. A handful have been appointed who were outside Parliament, but in most cases they entered Parliament in a by-election or by receiving a peerage. Exceptions include Peter Mandelson, appointed Secretary of State for Business and Regulatory Reform in October 2008 before his peerage. Since 1902, all prime ministers have been members of the Commons; the new session of Parliament was delayed to await the outcome of his by-election, which happened
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, was a British Royal Navy officer and statesman, an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, second cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II. During the Second World War, he was South East Asia Command, he was the first Governor-General of independent India. From 1954 to 1959, Mountbatten was First Sea Lord, a position, held by his father, Prince Louis of Battenberg, some forty years earlier. Thereafter he served as Chief of the Defence Staff until 1965, making him the longest-serving professional head of the British Armed Forces to date. During this period Mountbatten served as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee for a year. In 1979, his grandson Nicholas, two others were killed by a bomb set by members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, hidden aboard his fishing boat in Mullaghmore, County Sligo, Ireland. From the time of his birth at Frogmore House in the Home Park, Berkshire until 1917, when he and several other relations of King George V dropped their German styles and titles, Mountbatten was known as His Serene Highness Prince Louis of Battenberg.
He was the youngest child and the second son of Prince Louis of Battenberg and his wife Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. His maternal grandparents were Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, a daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, his paternal grandparents were Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine and Julia, Princess of Battenberg. Mountbatten's paternal grandparents' marriage was morganatic because his grandmother was not of royal lineage, his siblings were Princess Alice of Battenberg, Queen Louise of Sweden, George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven. Young Mountbatten's nickname among family and friends was "Dickie", although "Richard" was not among his given names; this was because his great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, had suggested the nickname of "Nicky", but to avoid confusion with the many Nickys of the Russian Imperial Family, "Nicky" was changed to "Dickie". He was baptised in the large drawing room of Frogmore House on 17 July 1900 by the Dean of Windsor, Philip Eliot.
His godparents were Nicholas II of Russia and Prince Francis Joseph of Battenberg. Mountbatten was educated at home for the first 10 years of his life: he was sent to Lockers Park School in Hertfordshire and on to the Royal Naval College, Osborne in May 1913. In childhood he visited the Imperial Court of Russia at St Petersburg and became intimate with the doomed Russian Imperial Family, harbouring romantic feelings towards his maternal first cousin Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna, whose photograph he kept at his bedside for the rest of his life. Mountbatten was posted as midshipman to the battlecruiser HMS Lion in July 1916 and, after seeing action in August 1916, transferred to the battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth during the closing phases of the First World War. In June 1917, when the royal family stopped using their German names and titles and adopted the more British-sounding "Windsor", Prince Louis of Battenberg became Louis Mountbatten, was created Marquess of Milford Haven, his second son acquired the courtesy title Lord Louis Mountbatten and was known as Lord Louis until he was created a peer in 1946.
He paid a visit of ten days to the Western Front, in July 1918. He was appointed executive officer of the small warship HMS P. 31 on 13 October 1918 and was promoted sub-lieutenant on 15 January 1919. HMS P. 31 took part in the Peace River Pageant on 4 April 1919. Mountbatten attended Christ's College, Cambridge for two terms, starting in October 1919, where he studied English literature in a programme, specially designed for ex-servicemen, he was elected for a term to the Standing Committee of the Cambridge Union Society, was suspected of sympathy for the Labour Party emerging as a potential party of government for the first time. He was posted to the battlecruiser HMS Renown in March 1920 and accompanied Edward, Prince of Wales, on a royal tour of Australia in her, he was promoted lieutenant on 15 April 1920. HMS Renown returned to Portsmouth on 11 October 1920. Early in 1921 Royal Navy personnel were used for civil defence duties as serious industrial unrest seemed imminent. Mountbatten had to command a platoon of stokers, many of whom had never handled a rifle before, in northern England.
He transferred to the battlecruiser HMS Repulse in March 1921 and accompanied the Prince of Wales on a Royal tour of India and Japan. Edward and Mountbatten formed a close friendship during the trip. Mountbatten survived the deep defence cuts known as the Geddes Axe. Fifty-two percent of the officers of his year had had to leave the Royal Navy by the end of 1923, he was posted to the battleship HMS Revenge in the Mediterranean Fleet in January 1923. Pursuing his interests in technological development and gadgetry, Mountbatten joined the Portsmouth Signals School in August 1924 and went on to study electronics at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. Mount
Hereford is a cathedral city, civil parish and county town of Herefordshire, England. It lies on the River Wye 16 miles east of the border with Wales, 24 miles southwest of Worcester, 23 miles northwest of Gloucester. With a population of 58,896, it is the largest settlement in the county; the name "Hereford" is said to come from the Anglo-Saxon "here", an army or formation of soldiers, the "ford", a place for crossing a river. If this is the origin it suggests that Hereford was a place where a body of armed men forded or crossed the Wye; the Welsh name for Hereford is Henffordd, meaning "old road", refers to the Roman road and Roman settlement at nearby Stretton Sugwas. Much of the county of Herefordshire was Welsh-speaking, as reflected in the Welsh names of many places in the county. An early town charter from 1189 granted by Richard I of England describes it as "Hereford in Wales". Hereford has been recognised as a city since time immemorial, with the status being reconfirmed as as October 2000.
It is now known chiefly as a trading centre for rural area. Products from Hereford include: cider, leather goods, nickel alloys, poultry and cattle, including the famous Hereford breed. Hereford became the seat of Putta, Bishop of Hereford, some time between AD 676 and 688, after which the settlement continued to grow due to its proximity to the border between Mercia and Wales, becoming the Saxon capital of West Mercia by the beginning of the 8th century. Hostilities between the Anglo-Saxons and the Welsh came to a head with the Battle of Hereford in 760, in which the Britons freed themselves from the influence of the English. Hereford was again targeted by the Welsh during their conflict with the Anglo-Saxon King Edward the Confessor in AD 1056 when, supported by Viking allies, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, King of Gwynedd and Powys, marched on the town and put it to the torch before returning home in triumph. Hereford had the only mint west of the Severn in the reign of Athelstan, it was to Hereford a border town, that Athelstan summoned the leading Welsh princes.
The present Hereford Cathedral dates from the early 12th century, as does the first bridge across the Wye. Former Bishops of Hereford include Saint Thomas de Cantilupe and Lord High Treasurer of England Thomas Charlton; the city gave its name to two suburbs of Paris, France: Maisons-Alfort and Alfortville, due to a manor built there by Peter of Aigueblanche, Bishop of Hereford, in the middle of the 13th century. Hereford, a base for successive holders of the title Earl of Hereford, was once the site of a castle, Hereford Castle, which rivalled that of Windsor in size and scale; this was a base for repelling Welsh attacks and a secure stronghold for English kings such as King Henry IV when on campaign in the Welsh Marches against Owain Glyndŵr. The castle was landscaped into Castle Green. After the Battle of Mortimer's Cross in 1461, during the Wars of the Roses, the defeated Lancastrian leader Owen Tudor was taken to Hereford by Sir Roger Vaughan and executed in High Town. A plaque now marks the spot of the execution.
Vaughan was himself executed, under a flag of truce, by Owen's son Jasper. During the civil war the city changed hands several times. On 30 September 1642 Parliamentarians led by Sir Robert Harley and Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford occupied the city without opposition. In December they withdrew to Gloucester because of the presence in the area of a Royalist army under Lord Herbert; the city was again occupied from 23 April to 18 May 1643 by Parliamentarians commanded by Sir William Waller but it was in 1645 that the city saw most action. On 31 July 1645 a Scottish army of 14,000 under Alexander Leslie, 1st Earl of Leven besieged the city but met stiff resistance from its garrison and inhabitants, they withdrew on 1 September when they received news that a force led by King Charles was approaching. The city was taken for Parliament on 18 December 1645 by Colonel Birch and Colonel Morgan. King Charles showed his gratitude to the city of Hereford on 16 September 1645 by augmenting the city's coat of arms with the three lions of Richard I of England, ten Scottish Saltires signifying the ten defeated Scottish regiments, a rare lion crest on top of the coat of arms signifying "defender of the faith" and the rarer gold-barred peer's helm, found only on the arms of one other municipal authority: those of the City of London.
Nell Gwynne and mistress of King Charles II, is said to have been born in Hereford in 1650. Another famous actor born in Hereford is David Garrick; the Bishop's Palace next to the Cathedral was continually used to the present day. Hereford Cathedral School is one of the oldest schools in England; the Harold Street Barracks were completed in 1856. During World War I, in 1916, a fire at the Garrick Theatre killed eight young girls, performing at a charity concert; the main local government body covering Hereford is Herefordshire Council. Hereford has a "City Council" but this is a parish council with city status, has only limited powers. Hereford has been the county town of Herefordshire. In 1974 Herefordshire was merged with Worcestershire to become part of the county of Hereford and Worcester, Hereford became a district of the new county. Hereford had formed a historic borough and was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. On 1 April 1998 the County of Hereford and Worcester was abolish
Arthur Neville Chamberlain was a British Conservative Party statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his foreign policy of appeasement, in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the German-speaking Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany; when Adolf Hitler invaded Poland, the UK declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939, Chamberlain led Britain through the first eight months of the Second World War. After working in business and local government, after a short spell as Director of National Service in 1916 and 1917, Chamberlain followed his father, Joseph Chamberlain, older half-brother, Austen Chamberlain, in becoming a Member of Parliament in the 1918 general election for the new Birmingham Ladywood division at the age of 49, he declined a junior ministerial position, remaining a backbencher until 1922. He was promoted in 1923 to Minister of Health and Chancellor of the Exchequer.
After a short-lived Labour-led government, he returned as Minister of Health, introducing a range of reform measures from 1924 to 1929. He was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in the National Government in 1931; when Stanley Baldwin retired in May 1937, Chamberlain took his place as Prime Minister. His premiership was dominated by the question of policy towards an aggressive Germany, his actions at Munich were popular among the British at the time; when Hitler continued his aggression, Chamberlain pledged Britain to defend Poland's independence if the latter were attacked, an alliance that brought his country into war when Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland in 1939. Chamberlain resigned the premiership on 10 May 1940 as the Allies were being forced to retreat from Norway, as he believed that a government supported by all parties was essential, the Labour and Liberal parties would not join a government he headed, he was succeeded by Winston Churchill but remained well regarded in Parliament among Conservatives.
Before ill health forced him to resign, he was an important member of Churchill's War Cabinet as Lord President of the Council, heading the Cabinet in the new premier's absence. Chamberlain died of cancer six months after leaving the premiership. Chamberlain's reputation remains controversial among historians, the initial high regard for him being eroded by books such as Guilty Men, published in July 1940, which blamed Chamberlain and his associates for the Munich accord and for failing to prepare the country for war. Most historians in the generation following Chamberlain's death held similar views, led by Churchill in The Gathering Storm; some historians have taken a more favourable perspective of Chamberlain and his policies, citing government papers released under the Thirty Year Rule and arguing that going to war with Germany in 1938 would have been disastrous as the UK was unprepared. Nonetheless, Chamberlain is still unfavourably ranked amongst British Prime Ministers. Chamberlain was born on 18 March 1869 in a house called Southbourne in the Edgbaston district of Birmingham.
He was the only son of the second marriage of Joseph Chamberlain, who became Mayor of Birmingham and a Cabinet minister. His mother was Florence Kenrick, cousin to William Kenrick MP. Joseph Chamberlain had had Austen Chamberlain, by his first marriage. Neville Chamberlain was educated at Rugby School. Joseph Chamberlain sent Neville to Mason College. Neville Chamberlain had little interest in his studies there, in 1889 his father apprenticed him to a firm of accountants. Within six months he became a salaried employee. In an effort to recoup diminished family fortunes, Joseph Chamberlain sent his younger son to establish a sisal plantation on Andros Island in the Bahamas. Neville Chamberlain spent six years there but the plantation was a failure, Joseph Chamberlain lost £50,000. On his return to England, Neville Chamberlain entered business, purchasing Hoskins & Company, a manufacturer of metal ship berths. Chamberlain served as managing director of Hoskins for 17 years during which time the company prospered.
He involved himself in civic activities in Birmingham. In 1906, as Governor of Birmingham's General Hospital, along with "no more than fifteen" other dignitaries, Chamberlain became a founding member of the national United Hospitals Committee of the British Medical Association. At forty, Chamberlain was expecting to remain a bachelor, but in 1910 he fell in love with Anne Cole, a recent connection by marriage, married her the following year, they met through his Aunt Lilian, the Canadian-born widow of Joseph Chamberlain's brother Herbert, who in 1907 had married Anne Cole's uncle Alfred Clayton Cole, a director of the Bank of England. She encouraged and supported his entry into local politics and was to be his constant companion and trusted colleague sharing his interests in housing and other political and social activities after his election as an MP; the couple had a daughter. Chamberlain showed little interest in politics, though his father and half-brother were in Parliament. During the "Khaki election" of 1900 he made speeches in support of Joseph Chamberlain's Liberal Unionists.
The Liberal Unionists were allied with the Conservatives and merged with them under the name "Unionist Party", which in 1925 became known as the "Conservative and Unionist Party". In 1911, Neville Chamberlain stood as a Liberal Unionist for Birmingham City Council for the All Saints' Ward, located within his father's parliamentary constituency. Chamberlain was ma
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