British Labour Party

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The Labour Party is one of the two main political parties of Britain.

It was established at a Conference on Labour Representation at the Memorial Hall, London in February 1900 as the Labour Representation Committee to act as the political arm of the trade unions in Parliament. Its first leader was Keir Hardie.

Apart from two brief spells as minority governments in 1924 and 1929 with Ramsay MacDonald the Labour Party had its first true victory after the Second World War in the 1945 election. Clement Attlee was the new Prime Minister and Labour started building up a "cradle to grave" welfare state under Nye Bevan.

Throughout the rest of the twentieth century Labour governments alternated with Conservative governments. But the Conservatives were in power for most of the time, with the "wilderness years" of 1951-64 (three straight General Election defeats) and 1979-97 (four straight General Election defeats).

Under Tony Blair Labour won the 1997 General Election and has since moved more to the centre and away from its socialist origins. This led to the party winning two General Elections in an row - the first time ever for the Labour Party.

The Labour Party is a member of the Party of European Socialists.