Independent Labour Party

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Independent Labour Party


(ILP) founded in Great Britain in January 1893, when the strike struggle had been reactivated and there was a growing movement for Great Britain’s working class to have a policy independent of the bourgeois parties.

The ILP’s leaders were J. K. Hardie and J. R. MacDonald. Its platform called for a struggle for the collective ownership of all the means of production, distribution, and exchange; the introduction of an eight-hour workday; the prohibition of child labor, and the introduction of social security and unemployment compensation. From the very beginning the ILP adopted bourgeois reformist positions and concentrated on the parliamentary struggle and on making parliamentary deals with the Liberal Party. Characterizing the ILP, V. I. Lenin wrote that it was “actually an opportunist party that has always been dependent on the bourgeoisie” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 39, p. 90).

In 1900 representatives of the ILP attended a conference that led to the formation of the Labour Representation Committee, which was renamed the Labour Party in 1906. Although the ILP was a collective member of the Labour Party, it tried to maintain its ideological and organizational independence until the beginning of World War I (1914–18). During the war the ILP’s leaders adopted a bourgeois pacifist position. In 1932, when there was an ideological split in the Labour Party, an ILP conference decided by a majority vote to leave the party. However, many ILP members joined the Labour Party in 1947.


Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed. (Spravochnyi torn .... part 1, p. 418.)
Vinogradov, V. N. U istokov leiboristskoi partii (1889–1900). Moscow, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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