Leicester City Council
Leicester City Council is a unitary authority responsible for local government in the city of Leicester, England. It consists of 54 councillors, representing 22 wards in the city, overseen by a directly elected mayor, it is controlled by the Labour Party and has been led by Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby since his election on 6 May 2011. The main council building is City Hall on Charles Street, but council meetings are held in the 19th-century Town Hall; as a unitary authority, the council is responsible for running nearly all local services in Leicester with the exception of the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service and Leicestershire Constabulary which are run by joint boards with Leicestershire County Council and Rutland County Council. The Council traces its roots to the Corporation of Leicester, before to the Merchant Gild and the Portmanmoot; the Portmanmoot consisted of 24 Jurats, elected from the burgesses, along with two bailiffs, a clerk. It appears to have existed before the Norman Conquest in 1066.
In 1209, the lead member of the Portmanmoot, the Alderman, became known as a mayor. The Gild Merchant and the Moot overlapped in membership and had become merged in the 14th century. Membership of the Twenty-Four appears to have been by co-option, chosen by themselves. Traditionally, the general populace attended some meetings of the Moot and Guild, but this was restricted to burgesses in 1467. In 1489, this changed to a system where the Mayor and the Twenty-Four chose Forty-Eight burgesses to represent the others, the Twenty-Four and the Forty-Eight would govern jointly. After doubts as to the ability of the Moot and Gild to hold property arose in the 16th century, the Corporation was formed, replacing the Gild and Portmanmoot, in 1589. A second charter was granted in 1599, reconfirming this, to The Mayor and Burgesses of the Borough of Leicester; the 24 Jurats became known as the Aldermen of the Corporation, the 48 other Burgesses as the Common Council. The members of the Corporation chose the burgesses to send to the House of Commons.
The Corporation, as with most English municipal corporations, continued unreformed until the Municipal Reform Act of 1835, although the freemen in general obtained the right to participate in the election of MPs after the Restoration. The Municipal Reform Act replaced the existing system of co-option for members of the council with elections by rate-payers; this led to a prolonged spell of Liberal control of the council. Leicester became, under the Local Government Act, a county borough; the Corporation was replaced in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, with the modern Leicester City Council, a non-metropolitan district council under Leicestershire County Council. Leicestershire County Council's jurisdiction over the City of Leicester was transferred to the City Council on 1 April 1997, making it a unitary authority, as part of the 1990s UK local government reform; the position of Lord Mayor of Leicester is a ceremonial post, is combined with that of chairman of the council. The position is elected yearly by members of rotates.
Councillor Ross Grant is the current lord mayor. The City is divided into 21 electoral wards, each of which returns two or three councillors, using the bloc voting system, as follows: A new set of wards and ward boundaries came into effect for the 7 May 2015 council elections. Wards that existed and were abolished are Charnwood, Freeman, New Parks and Western Park; the previous ward boundaries were adopted for the 2003 local elections. Prior to this, there had been each electing 2 members. Wards that had existed and been abolished were Crown Hills, East Knighton, North Braunstone, Rowley Fields, Saffron, St Augustine's, West Humberstone, West Knighton and Wycliffe; the current composition of the council is as follows: One seat is vacant following the death of the incumbent The Council had been under the control of the Labour Party from 1979 until the 2003 local elections, where no overall control was established. Labour regained control in 2007 and consolidated its position in 2011. In December 2010 the Council voted to introduce a directly elected mayor with effect from May 2011.
On 5 May 2011 Sir Peter Soulsby was elected to the post with 55% of the vote on the first ballot. He will serve a further four-year term. Veejay Patel was the last Leader of the Council until May 2011, having replaced Ross Willmott on 25 March 2010. Councillor Willmott served three spells as Leader: from May 1999 to May 2003; the council was under no overall control between 2003 and 2007. A Liberal Democrat-Conservative administration controlled the council from May 2003 until it collapsed in November 2004, after which a Labour minority administration took power; the Liberal Democrat-Conservative administration re-grouped in 2005 and controlled the council until May 2007 when Labour returned to power, consolidated its position still further in May 2011 and 2015. As of May 2015, the Council is composed of 52 Labour councillors, plus the directly elected mayor, eligible to take part and vote in Council meetings. One councillor resigned from the Labour group following being convicted of sexual assault and now sits as an independent.
The next election is due to take place in May 2019, although by-elections take place when a seat becomes vacant due to resignation or death of a councillor. Incompletent list of council leaders: Jim Marshall Ken Middleton Peter Soulsby Stuart Foster Peter Soulsby Ross Willmott (1999–20
Liberal Democrats (UK)
The Liberal Democrats are a liberal political party in the United Kingdom. They have 11 Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, 96 members of the House of Lords, one member of the European Parliament, five Members of the Scottish Parliament and one member in the Welsh Assembly and London Assembly. At the height of its influence, the party formed a coalition government with the Conservative Party from 2010 to 2015 with its leader Nick Clegg serving as Deputy Prime Minister, it is led by Sir Vince Cable. In 1981, an electoral alliance was established between the Liberal Party, a group, the direct descendent of the 18th-century Whigs, the Social Democratic Party, a splinter group from the Labour Party. In 1988 this alliance was formalised as the Liberal Democrats. Under the leadership of Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy, the party grew during the 1990s and 2000s, focusing its campaigning on specific seats and becoming the third largest party in the House of Commons. Under its leader Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats were junior partners in a coalition government headed by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, with Clegg serving as Deputy Prime Minister.
The coalition damaged the Liberal Democrats' electoral prospects: the party was reduced from 57 to 8 seats at the 2015 election. Positioned in the centre ground of British politics, the Liberal Democrats are ideologically liberal. Emphasising stronger protections for civil liberties, the party promotes liberal approaches to issues like LGBT rights, education policy, criminal justice. Different factions take different approaches to economic issues; the party is pro-Europeanist, supporting continued UK membership of the European Union and greater European integration. It calls for electoral reform with a transition from the first-past-the-post voting system to one of proportional representation. Other policies have included further environmental protections and drug liberalisation laws, while it has opposed certain UK military engagements like the Iraq War; the party is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and Liberal International. The Liberal Democrats are strongest in northern Scotland, southwest London, southwest England, mid-Wales.
The Liberal Democrats were formed on 3 March 1988 by a merger between the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party, which had formed a pact nearly seven years earlier as the SDP–Liberal Alliance. The Liberal Party, founded in 1859, were descended from the Whigs and Peelites, while the SDP were a party created in 1981 by former Labour Party members, MPs and cabinet ministers, but gained defections from the Conservative Party. Having declined to third party status after the rise of the Labour Party from 1918 and during the 1920s, the Liberals were challenged for this position in the 1980s when a group of Labour MPs broke away and established the Social Democratic Party; the SDP and the Liberals realised that there was no space for two political parties of the centre and entered into the SDP–Liberal Alliance so that they would not stand against each other in elections. The Alliance was led by Roy Jenkins; the two parties had their own policies and emphases, but produced a joint manifesto for the 1983 and 1987 general elections.
Following disappointing results in the 1987 election, Steel proposed to merge the two parties. Although opposed by Owen, it was supported by a majority of members of both parties, they formally merged in March 1988, with Steel and Robert Maclennan as joint interim leaders; the new party was named Social and Liberal Democrats with the unofficial short form The Democrats being used from September 1988. The name was subsequently changed to Liberal Democrats in October 1989, shortened to Lib Dems; the new party logo, the Bird of Liberty, was adopted in 1989. The minority of the SDP who rejected the merger remained under Owen's leadership in a rump SDP. Michael Meadowcroft joined the Liberal Democrats in 2007 but some of his former followers continue still as the Liberal Party, most notably in a couple of electoral wards of the cities of Liverpool and Peterborough; the then-serving Liberal MP Paddy Ashdown was elected leader in July 1988. At the 1989 European Elections, the party received only 6% of the vote, putting them in fourth place after the Green Party.
They failed to gain a single Member of the European Parliament at this election. Over the next three years, the party recovered under Ashdown's leadership, they performed better at the 1990 local elections and in by-elections—including at Eastbourne in 1990 which saw the first success by a Liberal Democrat standing for parliament. They had further successes in Ribble Valley and Kincardine & Deeside in 1991; the Lib Dems did not reach the share of national votes in the 1990s that the Alliance had achieved in the 1980s. At their first election in 1992, they won 17.8 % of twenty seats. In the 1994 European Elections, the party gained its first two Members of European Parliament. Following the election of Tony Blair as Labour leader in July 1994 after the death of his predecessor John Smith, Ashdown pursued co-operation between the two parties becaus
A unitary authority is a type of local authority that has a single tier and is responsible for all local government functions within its area or performs additional functions which elsewhere in the relevant country are performed by national government or a higher level of sub-national government. Unitary authorities cover towns or cities which are large enough to function independently of county or other regional administration. Sometimes they consist of national sub-divisions which are distinguished from others in the same country by having no lower level of administration. In Canada, each province creates its own system of local government, so terminology varies substantially. In certain provinces there is only one level of local government in that province, so no special term is used to describe the situation. British Columbia has only one such municipality, Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, established in 2009. In Ontario the term single-tier municipalities is used, for a similar concept.
Their character varies, while most function as cities with no upper level of government, some function as counties or regional municipalities with no lower municipal subdivisions below them. They exist as individual census divisions, as well as separated municipalities. In Germany, kreisfreie Stadt is the equivalent term for a city with the competences of both the Gemeinde and the Kreis administrative level; the directly elected chief executive officer of a kreisfreie Stadt is called Oberbürgermeister. The British counties have no directly corresponding counterpart in Germany; this German system corresponds in the Czech Republic. Until 1 January 2007, the municipalities of Copenhagen and Bornholm were not a part of a Danish county. In New Zealand, a unitary authority is a territorial authority that performs the functions of a regional council. There are five unitary authorities; the Chatham Islands, located east of the South Island, have a council with its own special legislation, constituted with powers similar to those of a regional authority.
In Poland, a miasto na prawach powiatu, or shortly powiat grodzki is a big, city, responsible for district administrative level, being part of no other powiat. In total, 65 cities in Poland have this status. In the United Kingdom, "unitary authorities" are English local authorities set up in accordance with the Local Government Changes for England Regulations 1994 made under powers conferred by the Local Government Act 1992 to form a single tier of local government in specified areas and which are responsible for all local government functions within such areas. While outwardly appearing to be similar, single-tier authorities formed using older legislation are not Unitary Authorities thus excluding e.g. the Isle of Wight Council or any other single-tier authority formed under the Local Government Act 1972 or older legislation. This is distinct from the two-tier system of local government which still exists in most of England, where local government functions are divided between county councils and district or borough councils.
Until 1996 two-tier systems existed in Scotland and Wales, but these have now been replaced by systems based on a single-tier of local government with some functions shared between groups of adjacent authorities. A single-tier system has existed in Northern Ireland since 1973. For many years the description of the number of tiers in UK local government arrangements has ignored any current or previous bodies at the lowest level of authorities elected by the voters within their area such as parish or community councils. Northern Ireland is divided into 11 districts for local government purposes. In Northern Ireland local councils have no responsibility for road building or housing, their functions include waste and recycling services and community services, building control and local economic and cultural development. Since their reorganisation in 2015 councils in Northern Ireland have taken on responsibility for planning functions; the collection of rates is handled by the Property Services agency.
Category: Subdivisions of Northern Ireland Local authorities in Scotland are unitary in nature but not in name. The Local Government etc. Act 1994 created a single tier of local government throughout Scotland. On 1 April 1996, 32 local government areas, each with a council, replaced the previous two-tier structure, which had regional and district councils. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar uses the alternative Gaelic designation Comhairle; the phrase "unitary authority" is not used in Scottish legislation, although the term is encountered in publications and in use by United Kingdom government departments. Local authorities in Wales are unitary in nature but are described by the Local Government Act 1994 as "principal councils", their areas as principal areas. Various other legislation (e.g. s.9
Herefordshire is a county in the West Midlands of England, governed by Herefordshire Council. It borders Shropshire to the north, Worcestershire to the east, Gloucestershire to the south-east, the Welsh counties of Monmouthshire and Powys to the west. Hereford is the county town. Situated in the historic Welsh Marches, Herefordshire is one of the most rural and sparsely populated counties in England, with a population density of 82/km², a 2017 population of 191,000 - the fourth-smallest of any ceremonial county in England; the land use is agricultural and the county is well known for its fruit and cider production, the Hereford cattle breed. From 1974 to 1998, Herefordshire was part of the former non-metropolitan county of Hereford and Worcester. Herefordshire was reconstituted both as a new district and as a new county by Statutory Instrument as defined in The Hereford and Worcester Order 1996; this Order established Herefordshire as a unitary authority on 1 April 1998, combining county and district functions into a single council.
Herefordshire is commonly called a unitary district, but this is not official nomenclature. Herefordshire is known as a unitary authority for local government purposes, it is governed by Herefordshire Council, created in 1998 with the new unitary district that absorbed the previous administrative areas of Leominster District Council, South Herefordshire District Council, Hereford City Council, parts of Hereford-Worcester County Council, parts of Malvern Hills District Council. The Lieutenancies Act 1997 made Herefordshire a ceremonial county, covering the exact area of the unitary district. For Eurostat purposes it is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three counties that comprise the "Herefordshire and Warwickshire" NUTS 2 region; the River Wye, which at 135 miles is the fifth-longest in the United Kingdom, enters the county after being its border with Powys. It flows through both Ross-on-Wye before returning to Wales. Leominster is situated on a tributary of the Wye. There are two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the county.
The Wye Valley is located in the river's valleys south of Hereford, while the Malvern Hills are in the east of the county, along its border with Worcestershire. Herefordshire is one of the 39 historic counties of England. In 1974 it was merged with neighbouring Worcestershire to form the Hereford and Worcester administrative county. Within this, Herefordshire was covered by the local government districts of South Herefordshire and part of Malvern Hills and Leominster districts. However, the county was dissolved in 1998, resulting in the return of Herefordshire and Worcestershire as counties; the current ceremonial county and unitary district have broadly the same borders as the pre-1974 historic county. Herefordshire's growth rate has in recent decades been higher than the national average, with the population increasing by 14.4% between 1991 and 2011 – the population of England as a whole increased by only 10.0%. However this has been from a lower base, with only Northumberland and Cumbria having lower population densities than Herefordshire.
The population is White 98.2%, Asian 0.8%, Mixed 0.7%, Black 0.2%, Other 0.1%. Gypsies and Travellers have been Herefordshire's largest minority ethnic group, they are made up of three main groups: Romanichal or Romany "Gypsies" Irish Travellers New Travellers or New Age TravellersRomany Gypsies and Irish Travellers fall within the definition of a minority ethnic group under the Race Relations Amendment Act. They have contributed to the development of the county, for example through seasonal working in orchards. There were 400 people within this minority group in the county at the 2011 Census; the major settlements in the county include Hereford, the county town and Herefordshire's only city, as well as the towns of Leominster, Ross-on-Wye and Bromyard. This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Herefordshire at current basic prices published by the Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling. ^ includes hunting and forestry ^ includes energy and construction ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding Many well-known cider producers are based in Herefordshire.
These include Weston's cider of Much Marcle, Bulmer's cider, from Hereford, which produces the UK market leader Strongbow. Most employment in Herefordshire is in agriculture and services. According to Herefordshire Council's online document "worklessness", 10% of people are unemployed in Herefordshire including out-of-work, homeless and disabled and their carers. Cargill Meats and H. P. Bulmers are two of the largest private sector employers, with the Council and NHS being the largest public sector employers. There are two parliamentary constituencies in Herefordshire; as of January 2017, Bill Wiggin represents North Herefordshire and Jesse Norman represents Hereford and South Herefordshire. Both politicians are members of the Conservative Party; the Council is Conservative controlled. The Chairman is Councillor Brian Wilcox and the Leader of the Council is Councillor Jonathan Lester; the Cabinet Leader is appointed yearly by the full council of 53 councillors. The Cabinet Leader picks their deputy and up to 8 other councillors to form the executive cabinet.
The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located in Europe. It has an area of an estimated population of about 513 million; the EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency; the EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993. The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community, established by the 1951 Treaty of Paris and 1957 Treaty of Rome.
The original members of what came to be known as the European Communities were the Inner Six: Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, West Germany. The Communities and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit; the latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. While no member state has left the EU or its antecedent organisations, the United Kingdom signified the intention to leave after a membership referendum in June 2016 and is negotiating its withdrawal. Covering 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2017 generated a nominal gross domestic product of 19.670 trillion US dollars, constituting 24.6% of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all 28 EU countries have a high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence.
The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower. During the centuries following the fall of Rome in 476, several European States viewed themselves as translatio imperii of the defunct Roman Empire: the Frankish Empire and the Holy Roman Empire were thereby attempts to resurrect Rome in the West; this political philosophy of a supra-national rule over the continent, similar to the example of the ancient Roman Empire, resulted in the early Middle Ages in the concept of a renovatio imperii, either in the forms of the Reichsidee or the religiously inspired Imperium Christianum. Medieval Christendom and the political power of the Papacy are cited as conducive to European integration and unity. In the oriental parts of the continent, the Russian Tsardom, the Empire, declared Moscow to be Third Rome and inheritor of the Eastern tradition after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
The gap between Greek East and Latin West had been widened by the political scission of the Roman Empire in the 4th century and the Great Schism of 1054. Pan-European political thought emerged during the 19th century, inspired by the liberal ideas of the French and American Revolutions after the demise of Napoléon's Empire. In the decades following the outcomes of the Congress of Vienna, ideals of European unity flourished across the continent in the writings of Wojciech Jastrzębowski, Giuseppe Mazzini or Theodore de Korwin Szymanowski; the term United States of Europe was used at that time by Victor Hugo during a speech at the International Peace Congress held in Paris in 1849: A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood... A day will come when we shall see... the United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, reaching out for each other across the seas. During the interwar period, the consciousness that national markets in Europe were interdependent though confrontational, along with the observation of a larger and growing US market on the other side of the ocean, nourished the urge for the economic integration of the continent.
In 1920, advocating the creation of a European economic union, British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote that "a Free Trade Union should be established... to impose no protectionist tariffs whatever against the produce of other members of the Union." During the same decade, Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, one of the first to imagine of a modern political union of Europe, founded the Pan-Europa Movement. His ideas influenced his contemporaries, among which Prime Minister of France Aristide Briand. In 1929, the latter gave a speech in favour of a European Union before the assembly of the League of Nations, precursor of the United Nations. In a radio address in March 1943, with war still raging, Britain's leader Sir Winston Churchill spoke warmly of "restoring the true greatness of Europe" once victory had been achieved, mused on the post-war creation of a "Council of Europe" which would bring the European nations together to build peace. After World War II, European integration was seen as an antidote to the extreme nationalism which had devastated the continent.
In a speech delivered on 19
Cornwall is a county in South West England in the United Kingdom. The county is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar which forms most of the border between them. Cornwall forms the westernmost part of the South West Peninsula of the island of Great Britain; the furthest southwestern point of Great Britain is Land's End. Cornwall has a population of 563,600 and covers an area of 3,563 km2; the county has been administered since 2009 by Cornwall Council. The ceremonial county of Cornwall includes the Isles of Scilly, which are administered separately; the administrative centre of Cornwall, its only city, is Truro. Cornwall is the homeland of the Cornish people and the cultural and ethnic origin of the Cornish diaspora, it retains a distinct cultural identity that reflects its history, is recognised as one of the Celtic nations. It was a Brythonic kingdom and subsequently a royal duchy; the Cornish nationalist movement contests the present constitutional status of Cornwall and seeks greater autonomy within the United Kingdom in the form of a devolved legislative Cornish Assembly with powers similar to those in Wales and Scotland.
In 2014, Cornish people were granted minority status under the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, giving them recognition as a distinct ethnic group. First inhabited in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods, Cornwall continued to be occupied by Neolithic and Bronze Age peoples, by Brythons with strong ethnic, linguistic and cultural links to Wales and Brittany the latter of, settled by Britons from the region. Mining in Cornwall and Devon in the south-west of England began in the early Bronze Age. Few Roman remains have been found in Cornwall, there is little evidence that the Romans settled or had much military presence there. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Cornwall was a part of the Brittonic kingdom of Dumnonia, ruled by chieftains of the Cornovii who may have included figures regarded as semi-historical or legendary, such as King Mark of Cornwall and King Arthur, evidenced by folklore traditions derived from the Historia Regum Britanniae.
The Cornovii division of the Dumnonii tribe were separated from their fellow Brythons of Wales after the Battle of Deorham in 577 AD, came into conflict with the expanding English kingdom of Wessex. The regions of Dumnonia outside of Cornwall had been annexed by the English by 838 AD. King Athelstan in 936 AD set the boundary between the English and Cornish at the high water mark of the eastern bank of the River Tamar. From the early Middle Ages and culture were shared by Brythons trading across both sides of the Channel, resulting in the corresponding high medieval Breton kingdoms of Domnonée and Cornouaille and the Celtic Christianity common to both areas. Tin mining was important in the Cornish economy. In the mid-19th century, the tin and copper mines entered a period of decline. Subsequently, china clay extraction became more important, metal mining had ended by the 1990s. Traditionally and agriculture were the other important sectors of the economy. Railways led to a growth of tourism in the 20th century.
Cornwall is noted for coastal scenery. A large part of the Cornubian batholith is within Cornwall; the north coast has many cliffs. The area is noted for its wild moorland landscapes, its long and varied coastline, its attractive villages, its many place-names derived from the Cornish language, its mild climate. Extensive stretches of Cornwall's coastline, Bodmin Moor, are protected as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the modern English name Cornwall is a compound of two ancient demonyms coming from two different language groups: Corn- originates from the Brythonic tribe, the Cornovii. The Celtic word "kernou" is cognate with the English word "horn". -wall derives from the Old English exonym walh, meaning "foreigner" or "Roman". In the Cornish language, Cornwall is known as Kernow which stems from a similar linguistic background; the present human history of Cornwall begins with the reoccupation of Britain after the last Ice Age. The area now known as Cornwall was first inhabited in the Mesolithic periods.
It continued to be occupied by Neolithic and Bronze Age people. According to John T. Koch and others, Cornwall in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-networked culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age, in modern-day Ireland, Wales, France and Portugal. During the British Iron Age, like all of Britain, was inhabited by a Celtic people known as the Britons with distinctive cultural relations to neighbouring Brittany; the Common Brittonic spoken at the time developed into several distinct tongues, including Cornish, Breton and Pictish. The first account of Cornwall comes from the 1st-century BC Sicilian Greek historian Diodorus Siculus quoting or paraphrasing the 4th-century BCE geographer P
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 313 Members of Parliament, has 249 members of the House of Lords, 18 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 12 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors; the Conservative Party was founded in 1834 from the Tory Party—the Conservatives' colloquial name is "Tories"—and was one of two dominant political parties in the nineteenth century, along with the Liberal Party. Under Benjamin Disraeli it played a preeminent role in politics at the height of the British Empire. In 1912, the Liberal Unionist Party merged with the party to form the Conservative and Unionist Party. In the 1920s, the Labour Party surpassed the Liberals as the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers — notably Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher — led governments for 57 years of the twentieth century.
Positioned on the centre-right of British politics, the Conservative Party is ideologically conservative. Different factions have dominated the party at different times, including One Nation Conservatives and liberal conservatives, while its views and policies have changed throughout its history; the party has adopted liberal economic policies—favouring free market economics, limiting state regulation, pursuing privatisation—although in the past has supported protectionism. The party is British unionist, opposing both Irish reunification and Welsh and Scottish independence, supported the maintenance of the British Empire; the party includes those with differing views on the European Union, with Eurosceptic and pro-European wings. In foreign policy, it is for a strong national defence; the Conservatives are a member of the International Democrat Union and the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe and sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group. The Scottish, Northern Irish and Gibraltan branches of the party are semi-autonomous.
Its support base consists of middle-class voters in rural areas of England, its domination of British politics throughout the twentieth century has led to it being referred to as one of the most successful political parties in the Western world. The Conservative Party was founded in the 1830s. However, some writers trace its origins to the reign of Charles II in the 1670s Exclusion Crisis. Other historians point to a faction, rooted in the 18th century Whig Party, that coalesced around William Pitt the Younger in the 1780s, they were known as "Independent Whigs", "Friends of Mr Pitt", or "Pittites" and never used terms such as "Tory" or "Conservative". Pitt died in 1806. From about 1812 on the name "Tory" was used for a new party that, according to historian Robert Blake, "are the ancestors of Conservatism". Blake adds that Pitt's successors after 1812 "were not in any sense standard-bearer's of true Toryism"; the term "Conservative" was suggested as a title for the party by a magazine article by J. Wilson Croker in the Quarterly Review in 1830.
The name caught on and was adopted under the aegis of Sir Robert Peel around 1834. Peel is acknowledged as the founder of the Conservative Party, which he created with the announcement of the Tamworth Manifesto; the term "Conservative Party" rather than Tory was the dominant usage by 1845. The widening of the electoral franchise in the nineteenth century forced the Conservative Party to popularise its approach under Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli, who carried through their own expansion of the franchise with the Reform Act of 1867. In 1886, the party formed an alliance with Spencer Compton Cavendish, Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain's new Liberal Unionist Party and, under the statesmen Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury and Arthur Balfour, held power for all but three of the following twenty years before suffering a heavy defeat in 1906 when it split over the issue of free trade. Young Winston Churchill denounced Chamberlain's attack on free trade, helped organize the opposition inside the Unionist/Conservative Party.
Balfour, as party leader, followed Chamberlain's policy introduced protectionist legislation. The high tariff element called itself "Tariff Reformers" and in a major speech in Manchester on May 13, 1904, Churchill warned their takeover of the Unionist/Conservative party would permanently brand it as: A party of great vested interests, banded together in a formidable confederation. Two weeks Churchill crossed the floor and formally joined the Liberal Party. )He rejoined the Conservatives in 1925.) In December, Balfour lost control of his party, as the defections multiplied. He was replaced by Liberal Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman who called an election in January 1906, which produced a massive Liberal victory with a gain of 214 seats. Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith enacted a great deal of reform legislation, but the Unionists worked hard at grassroots organizing. Two general elections were held in one in January and one in December; the two main parties were now dead equal in seats.
The Unionists had more popular votes but the Liberals kept control with a coalition with the Irish Parliamentary Party. In 1912, the Liberal Unionis