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Democratic Left[3][4]

Communist Party of Britain

Membership

60,000 (peak; 1945)[5] 4,742 (dissolution; 1991)[6]

Ideology

Communism Marxism–Leninism

Political position Far-left

International affiliation Comintern

Colours           Red
Red
and Yellow

Politics of United Kingdom Political parties Elections

The Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain
(CPGB) was a British communist party which was the largest communist party in Great Britain, although it never became a mass party like those in France and Italy. It existed from 1920 to 1991. Founded in 1920 by the merger of several smaller Marxist
Marxist
parties, the party gained the support of many socialist organisations and worker's committees during the period after World War I
World War I
and the Russian October Revolution. Many miners joined the party through 1926 and 1927 after the General Strike of 1926. In 1945 two Communist Party MPs won seats in the general election. From 1945 to 1956 the party was at the height of its influence. It experienced its greatest loss of membership after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the party's Eurocommunist leadership decided to disband the party, establishing the Democratic Left think tank. The anti-Eurocommunist faction had launched the Communist Party of Britain in 1988.

Contents

1 Organisational history

1.1 Formation 1.2 1920s and 1930s 1.3 1939 to 1956 1.4 1960s and 1970s: decline of the party 1.5 1977–1991: Breakup of the party 1.6 General election results

2 General Secretaries 3 Congresses 4 Notable members 5 Tankie 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 Further reading

9.1 Secondary sources 9.2 Primary sources

10 External links

Organisational history[edit] Formation[edit] The Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain
was founded in 1920 after the Third International decided that greater attempts should be made to establish communist parties across the world. The CPGB was formed by the merger of several smaller Marxist
Marxist
parties, including the British Socialist Party, the Communist Unity Group of the Socialist Labour Party and the South Wales Socialist Society.[7] The party also gained the support of the Guild Communists faction of the National Guilds League, assorted shop stewards' and workers' committees, socialist clubs and individuals and many former members of the Hands Off Russia campaign. Several branches and many individual members of the Independent Labour Party
Independent Labour Party
also affiliated. As a member of the British Socialist Party, the Member of Parliament Cecil L'Estrange Malone joined the CPGB. In January 1921, the CPGB was refounded after the majorities of Sylvia Pankhurst's group the Communist Party (British Section of the Third International), and the Scottish Communist Labour Party agreed to unity. The party benefited from a period of increased political radicalism in Britain just after the First World War and the Russian Revolution of October 1917, and was also represented in Britain by the Red
Red
Clydeside movement.[8][9] During the negotiations leading to the initiation of the party a number of issues were hotly contested. Among the most contentious were the questions of "parliamentarism" and the attitude of the Communist Party to the Labour Party. "Parliamentarism" referred to a strategy of contesting elections and working through existing parliaments. It was a strategy associated with the parties of the Second International
Second International
and it was partly for this reason that it was opposed by those who wanted to break with Social Democracy. Critics contended that parliamentarism had caused the old parties to become devoted to reformism because it had encouraged them to place more importance on winning votes than on working for socialism, that it encouraged opportunists and place-seekers into the ranks of the movement and that it constituted an acceptance of the legitimacy of the existing governing institutions of capitalism. Similarly, affiliation to the Labour Party was opposed on the grounds that communists should not work with 'reformist' Social Democratic parties. These Left Communist positions enjoyed considerable support, being supported by Sylvia Pankhurst
Sylvia Pankhurst
and Willie Gallacher among others. However, the Russian Communist Party took the opposing view. In 1920, Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
argued in his essay "Left Wing" Communism: An Infantile Disorder that the CPs should work with reformist trade unions and social democratic parties because these were the existing organisations of the working class. Lenin argued that if such organisations gained power, they would demonstrate that they were not really on the side of the working class, thus workers would become disillusioned and come over to supporting the Communist Party. Lenin's opinion prevailed eventually. Initially, therefore, the CPGB attempted to work within the Labour Party, which at this time operated mainly as a federation of left-wing bodies, only having allowed individual membership since 1918. However, despite the support of James Maxton, the Independent Labour Party leader, the Labour Party decided against the affiliation of the Communist Party. Even while pursuing affiliation and seeking to influence Labour Party members, however, the CPGB promoted candidates of its own at parliamentary elections. Following the refusal of their affiliation, the CPGB encouraged its members to join the Labour Party individually and to seek Labour Party endorsement or help for any candidatures. Several Communists thus became Labour Party candidates, and in the 1922 general election, Shapurji Saklatvala
Shapurji Saklatvala
and Walton Newbold
Walton Newbold
were both elected. 1920s and 1930s[edit] The affair of the forged Zinoviev Letter
Zinoviev Letter
occurred in late October 1924. Intended to suggest that the Communist Party in Britain was engaged in subversive activities among the armed forces and elsewhere, the forgery's aim being to promote the electoral chances of the Conservative Party in the general election of 29 October. It was probably the work of SIS (MI6) or White Russian counter revolutionaries.[10][11] Throughout the 1920s and most of the 1930s the CPGB decided to maintain the doctrine that a communist party should consist of revolutionary cadres and not be open to all applicants. The CPGB as the British section of the Communist International
Communist International
was committed to implementing the decisions of the higher body to which it was subordinate. This proved to be a mixed blessing in the General Strike of 1926 immediately prior to which much of the central leadership of the CPGB was imprisoned. Twelve were charged with "seditious conspiracy". Five were jailed for a year and the others for six months. Another major problem for the party was its policy of abnegating its own role and calling upon the General Council of the Trades Union Congress
Trades Union Congress
to play a revolutionary role. Nonetheless during the strike itself and during the long drawn out agony of the following Miners' Strike the members of the CPGB were to the fore in defending the strike and in attempting to develop solidarity with the miners. The result was that membership of the party in mining areas increased greatly through 1926 and 1927. Much of these gains would be lost during the Third Period
Third Period
but influence was developed in certain areas that would continue until the party's demise decades later. The CPGB did succeed in creating a layer of militants very committed to the party and its policies, although this support was concentrated in particular trades, specifically in heavy engineering, textiles and mining, and in addition tended to be concentrated regionally too in the coalfields, certain industrial cities such as Glasgow
Glasgow
and in Jewish East London. Indeed, Maerdy
Maerdy
in the Rhondda
Rhondda
Valley along with Chopwell
Chopwell
in Tyne and Wear were two of a number of communities known as Little Moscow for their Communist tendencies. But this support built during the party's first years was imperiled during the Third Period
Third Period
from 1929 to 1932, the Third Period
Third Period
being the so-called period of renewed revolutionary advance as it was dubbed by the (now Stalinised) leadership of the Comintern. The result of this "class against class" policy was that the Social Democratic and Labourite parties were to be seen as equally as much a threat as the fascist parties and were therefore described as being social-fascist. Any kind of alliance with "social-fascists" was obviously to be prohibited. The Third Period
Third Period
also meant that the CPGB sought to develop revolutionary trade unions in rivalry to the established Trades Union Congress affiliated unions. They met with an almost total lack of success although a tiny handful of "red" unions were formed, amongst them a miners union in Scotland
Scotland
and tailoring union in East London. Arthur Horner, the Communist leader of the Welsh miners, fought off attempts to found a similar union on his patch. But even if the Third Period
Third Period
was by all conventional standards a total political failure it was the 'heroic' period of British communism and one of its campaigns did have impact beyond its ranks. This was the National Unemployed Workers' Movement led by Wal Hannington. Increasing unemployment had caused a substantial increase in the number of CP members, especially those drawn from engineering, lacking work. This cadre of which Hannington and Harry MacShane in Scotland were emblematic, found a purpose in building the NUWM which resulted in a number of marches on the unemployment issue during the 1930s. Although born in the Third Period
Third Period
during the Great depression, the NUWM was a major campaigning body throughout the Popular Front period too, only being dissolved in 1941. After the victory of Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
in Germany the Third Period
Third Period
was dropped by all Communist Parties as they switched to the policy of the Popular Front. This policy argued that as fascism was the main danger to the workers' movement, it needed to ally itself with all anti-fascist forces including right-wing democratic parties. In Britain this policy expressed itself in the efforts of the CPGB to forge an alliance with the Labour Party and even with forces to the right of Labour. In the 1935 general election Willie Gallacher was elected as the Communist Party's first MP in six years, and their first MP elected against Labour opposition. Gallacher sat for West Fife in Scotland, a coal mining region in which it had considerable support. During the 1930s the CPGB opposed the Conservative government's policy of appeasement towards Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. On the streets the party members played a leading role in the struggle against the British Union of Fascists, led by Sir Oswald Mosley
Oswald Mosley
whose Blackshirts tried to emulate the Nazis in anti-Semitic actions in London and other major British cities.[12] 1939 to 1956[edit] With the beginning of the Second World War in 1939, the CPGB initially continued to support the struggle on two fronts (against Chamberlain at home and Nazi fascism abroad). Following the Molotov–Ribbentrop nonaggression pact on August 23 between the Soviet Union and Germany, the Comintern
Comintern
immediately changed its position. The British party immediately fell in line, campaigning for peace, and describing the war as the product of imperialism on both sides, and in which the working class had no side to take.[13] This was opposed within the CPGB by Harry Pollitt
Harry Pollitt
and J. R. Campbell, the editor of the Daily Worker, and both were relieved of their duties in October 1939.[14] Pollitt was replaced by Palme Dutt. From 1939 until 1941 the CPGB was very active in supporting strikes and in denouncing the government for its pursuit of the war. However, when in 1941 the Soviet Union was invaded by Germany, the CPGB reversed its stance immediately and came out in support of the war on the grounds that it had now become a war between fascism and the Soviet Union. Pollitt was restored to his old position as Party Secretary. In fact, the Communists' support for the war was so vociferous that they launched a campaign for a Second Front in order to support the USSR and speed the defeat of the Axis. In industry they now opposed strike action and supported the Joint Production Committees,[15] which aimed to increase productivity, and supported the National Government that was led by Winston Churchill (Conservative) and Clement Attlee
Clement Attlee
(Labour). At the same time, given the influence of Rajani Palme Dutt
Rajani Palme Dutt
in the Party, the issue of Indian independence and the independence of colonies was emphasised.[16] In the 1945 general election, the Communist Party received 103,000 votes, and two Communists were elected as members of parliament, Willie Gallacher was returned and Phil Piratin was newly elected,[17] as the MP for Mile End in London's East End. Harry Pollitt
Harry Pollitt
failed by only 972 votes to take the Rhondda
Rhondda
East constituency. Both Communist MPs however, lost their seats at the 1950 general election. The Party was keen to demonstrate its loyalty to Britain's industrial competitiveness as stepping point towards socialism. At the 19th Congress, Harry Pollitt
Harry Pollitt
asked rhetorically, "why do we need to increase production?" Answering "to pay for what we are compelled to import. To retain our independence as a nation."[18] The party's membership peaked during 1943, reaching around 60,000.[17] Despite boasting some leading intellectuals, especially among the Communist Party Historians Group, the party was still tiny compared to its continental European counterparts. The French Communist Party
French Communist Party
for instance had 800,000 members, and the Italian Communist Party
Italian Communist Party
had 1.7 million members.[17] The Party tried, unsuccessfully, to affiliate to the Labour Party in 1935, 1943 and 1946.[19] In 1951 the party issued a programme, The British Road to Socialism (officially adopted at the 22nd Congress in April 1952), which explicitly advocated the possibility of a peaceful transition to socialism – but only after it had been personally approved by Stalin himself, according to some historians.[20] The BRS would remain the programme of the CPGB until its dissolution in 1991 albeit in amended form and today is the programme of the breakaway Communist Party of Britain. From the war years to 1956 the CPGB was at the height of its influence in the labour movement with many union officials who were members. Not only did it have immense influence in the National Union of Mineworkers but it was extremely influential in the Electrical Trade Union and in the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers
Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers
the key blue collar union. In addition much of the Labour Party left was strongly influenced by the party. Dissidents were few, perhaps the most notable being Eric Heffer the future Labour MP who left the party in the late 1940s, and were easily dealt with. The death of Stalin in 1953, and the uprising in East Germany the same year had little direct influence on the CPGB, but they were harbingers of what was to come. Of more importance was Nikita Khrushchev's "Secret Speech" at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, in which he denounced Stalin. According to George Matthews, Khrushchev made a deal with the CPGB to provide a secret annual donation to the party of more than £100,000 in used notes.[21] Labour unrest in Poland in 1956 disrupted not only the CPGB, but many other Communist Parties as well. The CPGB was to experience its greatest ever loss of membership as a result of the Warsaw Pact's crushing of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.:[22] "[T]he events of 1956 ... saw the loss of between one-quarter and one-third of Party members, including many leading intellectuals."[17] This event was initially covered in the CPGB-sponsored Daily Worker, by correspondent Peter Fryer, but as events unfolded the stories were spiked. On his return to Britain Fryer resigned from the Daily Worker and was expelled from the party.[17] 1960s and 1970s: decline of the party[edit]

William Alexander, representing to Politburo of the CPGB receives applause from the Presidium of the Fifth Congress of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, East Berlin, 16 July 1958.

After the calamitous events of 1956, the party increasingly functioned as a pressure group, seeking to use its well-organised base in the trade union movement to push the Labour Party leftwards. Trade unionists in the party in 1968 included John Tocher, George Wake, Dick Etheridge and Cyril Morton (AEU); Mick McGahey, Arthur True and Sammy Moore (NUM); Lou Lewis (UCATT) and Max Morris (NUT). Ken Gill became the party's first elected officer in 1968 and ex-Communist Hugh Scanlon was elected president of the AEU with Broad Left support the previous year – defeating Reg Birch, the Maoist ex-party candidate. The Broad Left went on to help elect Ray Buckton (Aslef), Ken Cameron (FBU), Alan Sapper (ACTT) and Jack Jones (TGWU) in 1969. Gerry Pocock, Assistant Industrial Organiser described the industrial department as "a party within a party", and Marxism Today editor James Klugmann would routinely defer to Industrial Organiser Bert Ramelson
Bert Ramelson
on matters of policy.[23] The party's orientation, though, was to the left union officers, not the rank and file. Historian Geoff Andrews' explains 'it was the role of the shop stewards in organising the Broad Lefts and influencing trade union leaders that was the key rather than organising the rank and file in defiance of leaderships' and so the party withdrew from rank-and-file organisations like the Building Workers' Charter, and attacked "Trotskyist" tactics at the Pilkington Glass dispute in 1970.[24] Still the party's efforts to establish an electoral base repeatedly failed. They retained a handful of seats in local councils scattered around Britain, but the CPGB's only representative in Parliament was in the House of Lords, gained when Wogan Philipps, the son of a ship-owner and a long-standing member of the CPGB, inherited the title of Lord Milford when his father died in 1963. The Daily Worker was renamed the Morning Star in 1966. At the same time the party became increasingly polarised between those who sought to maintain close relations with the Soviet Union and those who sought to convert the party into a force independent of Moscow. The international split between Moscow and Beijing in 1961 led to divisions within many Communist Parties but there was little pro-Beijing sympathy in the relatively small British Party. Perhaps the best known of the tiny minority of CPGB members who opposed the Moscow line was Michael McCreery, who formed the Committee to Defeat Revisionism, for Communist Unity. This tiny group left the CPGB by 1963. McCreery himself died in 1965 in New Zealand. Later a more significant group formed around Reg Birch, an engineering union official, established the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist). Initially, this group supported the position of the Communist Party of China. Divisions in the CPGB concerning the autonomy of the party from Moscow reached a crisis in 1968, when Warsaw pact forces intervened in Czechoslovakia. The CPGB, with memories of 1956 in mind, responded with some very mild criticism of Moscow, refusing to call it an invasion, preferring "intervention". Three days after the invasion, John Gollan
John Gollan
said "we completely understand the concern of the Soviet Union about the security of the socialist camp ... we speak as true friends of the Soviet Union".[25] Even this response provoked a small localised split by the so-called Appeal Group which was in many respects a precursor of the 1977 split which formed the New Communist Party. From this time onwards, the most traditionally-minded elements in the CPGB were referred to as 'Tankies' by their internal opponents, due to their support of the Warsaw Pact forces. Others within the party leaned increasingly towards the position of eurocommunism, which was the leading tendency within the important Communist parties of Italy and, later, Spain. "The mid-1970s saw Gramscians" otherwise known as Euro-Communists "take leading positions within the party".[26] Sue Slipman, Executive Committee 1975, and Marxism Today editorial board; Jon Bloomfield, former Student organiser became West Midlands District Sec.; Dave Cook became National Organiser in 1975; Pete Carter prominent in UCATT; Beatrix Campbell
Beatrix Campbell
and Judith Hunt active in National Women's Advisory; Jacques, on the EC since 1967 and replacing James Klugmann on Marxism Today in 1977; Sarah Benton was a "heresy" favouring editor of Comment; critics from the past, like Eric Hobsbawm
Eric Hobsbawm
and Monty Johnstone, got more influence. The last strong electoral performance of the CPGB was in the February 1974 General Election in Dunbartonshire Central, where candidate Jimmy Reid won almost 6,000 votes. However, this strong result was primarily a personal vote for Reid, who was a prominent local trade union leader and gained much support because of his prominent role in the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders work-in, which had taken place a few years earlier and was seen as having saved local jobs. Nationally the party's vote continued its decline: according to a contemporary joke, the CPGB at this time pursued the British Road to Lost Deposits. The Euro-Communists in the party apparatus were starting to challenge the authority of the trade union organisers. At the 1975 Congress, Dave Purdy proposed that "the labour movement should declare its willingness to accept voluntary pay restraint as a contribution to the success of the programme and a way of easing the transition to a socialist economy"[27] – a challenge to the Industrial Department's policy of "free collective bargaining". The growing crisis in the party also affected the credibility of its leadership, as formerly senior and influential members left its ranks. In 1976, three of its top engineering cadres resigned. Jimmy Reid, Cyril Morton and John Tocher had all been members of the Political Committee, playing a crucial role in determining the direction of the party. Like another engineer, Bernard Panter, who left a few months before them, they jumped a sinking ship. According to the Party's official historian this period was marked by a growing division between the practitioners of cultural politics – heavily inspired by the writings of Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci
and party's powerful industrial department which advocated a policy of militant labourism. The cultural politics wing had dominated the party's youth wing in the 1960s and was also powerful in the student section. As such many of its members were academics or professional intellectuals (or in the view of their opponents, out of touch and middle class). They were influenced by the environmental and especially the feminist movement. The other wing were powerful in senior levels of the trade union movement (though few actually reached the very top in the unions) and despite the party's decline in numbers were able to drive the TUC's policy of opposing the Industrial Relations Act. In the view of their opponents on the cultural or eurocommunist wing, they were out of touch with the real changes in working people's lives and attitudes. As the seventies progressed and as industrial militancy declined in the face of high unemployment, the tensions in the party rose even as its membership continued to decline. 1977–1991: Breakup of the party[edit] By 1977 debate around the new draft of the British Road to Socialism brought the party to breaking point. Many of the anti-Eurocommunists decided that they needed to form their own anti-revisionist Communist party. Some speculated at the time that they would receive the backing of Moscow, but such support appears not to have materialised. The New Communist Party of Britain
Communist Party of Britain
was formed under the leadership of Sid French, who was the secretary of the important Surrey District CP, which had a strong base in engineering. Another grouping, led by Fergus Nicholson, remained in the party and launched the paper Straight Left. This served as an outlet for their views as well as an organising tool in their work within the Labour Party. Nicholson had earlier taken part in establishing a faction known as "Clause Four" within Labour's student movement. Nicholson wrote as "Harry Steel", a combination of the names of Stalin ("man of steel" in Russian) and Harry Pollitt. The group around Straight Left exerted considerable influence in the trade union movement, CND, the Anti-Apartheid Movement and amongst some Labour MPs. Under the influence of Eric Hobsbawm
Eric Hobsbawm
on the opposing wing of the party Martin Jacques
Martin Jacques
became the editor of the party's theoretical journal Marxism Today and rapidly made it a significant publication for Eurocommunist opinions in the party, and eventually for revisionist tendencies in the wider liberal-left, in particular for the soft left around Neil Kinnock
Neil Kinnock
in the Labour Party. Although circulation of the magazine rose it was still a drain on the finances of the small party. As early as 1983, Martin Jacques
Martin Jacques
"thought the CP was unreformable ... but stayed in because he needed its subsidy to continue publishing Marxism Today." Jacques' conviction that the party was finished "came as a nasty shock to some of his comrades" like Nina Temple, who "as unhappy as Jacques himself, stayed on only out of loyalty to Jacques."[28] In 1984 a long-simmering dispute between the majority of the leadership and an anti-Eurocommunist faction (associated with party industrial and trade union activists) flared up when the London District Congress was closed down for insisting on giving full rights to comrades who had been suspended by the Executive Committee. After the General Secretary closed the Congress a number of members remained in the room (in County Hall in South London) and held what was, in effect, the founding meeting of a breakaway party, although the formal split did not come until four years later. Members of the minority faction set about founding a network of Morning Star readers' groups and similar bodies, calling themselves the Communist Campaign Group. In 1988 these elements formally split from the CPGB to organise a new party known as the Communist Party of Britain. This was considered by many in the anti-eurocommunist faction, including national executive members like Barry Williams, to be the death of the 'Party'. In 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed, the Eurocommunist-dominated leadership of the CPGB, led by Nina Temple, decided to disband the party, and establish Democratic Left, a left-leaning political think tank rather than a political party.[29] Democratic Left itself dissolved in 1999, to be replaced by the New Politics Network, which in turn merged with Charter 88 in 2007.[29] This merger formed Unlock Democracy, which was involved in the campaign for a yes vote in the 2011 Alternative Vote referendum.[29] Some Scottish members formed the Communist Party of Scotland, others Democratic Left Scotland
Scotland
and Democratic Left Wales Chwith Ddemocrataidd, which still continues. Supporters of The Leninist who had rejoined the CPGB in the early 1980s declared their intention to reforge the Party, and held an emergency conference at which they claimed the name of the party. They are now known as the Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee) and they publish the Weekly Worker. But the Communist Party of Britain
Communist Party of Britain
is the designated 'Communist Party' in the UK by the Electoral Commission. In 2008 members of the Party of the European Left, which contains several former 'official' Communist Parties in Europe, established a non-electoral British section.[30] General election results[edit] Main article: Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain
election results

House of Commons of the United Kingdom

Election year # of total votes % of overall vote # of seats won

1922 [31] 30,684 0.2% 1

1923 [32] 34,258 0.2% 0

1924 [33] 51,176 0.2% 1

1929 [34] 47,554 0.2% 0

1931 [35] 69,692 0.3% 0

1935 [35] 27,177 0.1% 1

1945 [35] 97,945 0.4% 2

1950 [35] 91,765 0.3% 0

1951 [35] 21,640 0.1% 0

1955 [35] 33,144 0.1% 0

1959 [35] 30,896 0.1% 0

1964 [35] 46,442 0.2% 0

1966 [35] 62,092 0.2% 0

1970 [35] 37,970 0.1% 0

1974 (Feb.) [35] 32,743 0.1% 0

1974 (Oct.) [35] 17,426 0.1% 0

1979 [35] 16,858 0.1% 0

1983 [35] 11,606 0.0% 0

1987 [35] 6,078 0.0% 0

General Secretaries[edit]

General Secretary (Birth–Death) Took Office Left Office Prime Minister (term)

Albert Inkpin (1884–1944) 31 July 1920 July 1928[notes 1]

Lloyd George 1916–22

Law 1922–23

Baldwin 1923–24

MacDonald 1924

Baldwin 1924–29

J. R. Campbell (1894–1969) February 1929[notes 2] May 1929

Harry Pollitt (1890–1960) (1st time) July 1929[notes 3] October 1939

MacDonald 1929–35

Baldwin 1935–37

Chamberlain 1937–40

Rajani Palme Dutt (1896–1974) October 1939 June 1941

Churchill 1940–45

Harry Pollitt (1890–1960) (2nd time) June 1941 13 May 1956

Attlee 1945–51

Churchill 1951–55

Eden 1955–57

John Gollan (1911–1977) 13 May 1956 11 March 1975

MacMillan 1957–63

Douglas-Home 1963-4

Wilson 1964–70

Heath 1970–74

Wilson 1974–76

Gordon McLennan (1924–2011) 11 March 1975 13/14 January 1990

Callaghan 1976–79

Thatcher 1979–90

Nina Temple (1956-) 13/14 January 1990 23 November 1991

Major 1990–97

Congresses[edit]

Year Name Location Dates

1920 Foundation Congress London 31 July – 1 August

1921 2nd Congress Leeds 29–30 January

1921 3rd Congress Manchester 23–24 April

1922 4th Congress St Pancras Town Hall, London 18–19 March

1922 5th Congress Battersea Town Hall, London 7–8 October

1924 6th Congress Caxton Hall, Salford 16–18 May

1925 7th Congress St Mungo Hall, Glasgow 30 May – 1 June

1926 8th Congress Battersea Town Hall, London 16–17 October

1927 9th Congress Caxton Hall, Salford 8–10 October

1929 10th Congress London 19–22 January

1929 11th Congress Leeds 30 November-3 December

1932 12th Congress London 12–15 November

1935 13th Congress Manchester 2–5 February

1937 14th Congress London 29–31 May

1938 15th Congress Birmingham 16–19 September

1943 16th Congress London 3–4 October

1944 17th Congress London 28–29 October

1945 18th Congress London 24–26 November

1947 19th Congress London 22–24 February

1948 20th Congress London 21–23 February

1949 21st Congress Liverpool 26–28 November

1952 22nd Congress London 11–14 April

1954 23rd Congress London 16–19 April

1956 24th Congress Battersea Town Hall, London 30 March–2 April

1957 25th Congress Hammersmith Town Hall, London 19–22 April

1959 26th Congress St Pancras Town Hall, London 27–30 March

1961 27th Congress St Pancras Town Hall, London 31 March–3 April

1963 28th Congress London 12–15 April

1965 29th Congress Camden Town Hall, London 27–30 November

1967 30th Congress Camden Town Hall, London 25–28 November

1969 31st Congress Camden Town Hall, London 15–18 November

1971 32nd Congress Camden Town Hall, London 13–16 November

1973 33rd Congress Camden Town Hall, London 10–12 November

1975 34th Congress Camden Town Hall, London 15–18 November

1977 35th Congress

12–15 November

1979 36th Congress St Pancras Assembly Room, London 10–13 November

1981 37th Congress

14–17 November

1983 38th Congress

12–15 November

1985 39th Congress

18–20 May

1987 40th Congress

14–17 November

1989 41st Congress

25–28 November

1990 42nd Congress

8–9 December

1991 43rd Congress Congress House, London 22–24 November

Notable members[edit]

David Aaronovitch Sam Aaronovitch Kingsley Amis Robert Page Arnot Mark Ashton George Alfred Barnard Joan Beauchamp Kay Beauchamp Tom Bell Alfreda Benge Leila Berg J. D. Bernal Bill Bland Anthony Blunt Jim Bollan Edith Bone Bessie Braddock Noreen Branson Peter Brearey Maurice Brinton Beatrix Campbell John Ross Campbell Christopher Caudwell Bernard Coard Ken Coates Robert Conquest John Cornford Maurice Cornforth Bob Crow Jack Dash Edmund Dell George Derwent Thomson Mary Docherty Rajani Palme Dutt Ben Fine Stewart Farrar Peter Fryer Gerry Gable Willie Gallacher Green Gartside David Gascoyne Robert Griffiths J. B. S. Haldane Wal Hannington Jock Haston Denis Healey Gerry Healy Eric Heffer Margot Heinemann Mike Hicks Jim Higgins Christopher Hill Jeanne Hoban Eric Hobsbawm David Holbrook Malcolm Hulke Douglas Hyde Albert Inkpin Thomas A. Jackson Martin Jacques Lewis Jones Pat Jordan Luke Kelly Helena Kennedy Pieter Keuneman James Klugmann Charles Lahr John Lawrence Sanzo Nosaka Doris Lessing John Lewis Jack Lindsay James Litterick Ewan MacColl Hugh MacDiarmid Arthur MacManus Mick McGahey Claude McKay Gordon McLennan Harry McShane Cecil L'Estrange Malone John Manifold Tom Mann Carl Marzani William Mellor Iris Murdoch J. T. Murphy Andrew Murray A. L. Morton David Nicholson Walton Newbold Sylvia Pankhurst William Paul Wogan Philipps, 2nd Baron Milford Phil Piratin Harry Pollitt Raymond Postgate Annie Powell Tom Quelch Bert Ramelson Jimmy Reid John Reid Al Richardson Edgell Rickword Michael Roberts Archibald Robertson Robert Robson[36] Andrew Rothstein Ralph Russell William Rust Shapurji Saklatvala Raphael Samuel John Saville Hugh Scanlon Alfred Sherman Derek Simpson Cliff Slaughter Sue Slipman John Maynard Smith Michael John Smith John Sommerfield Ken Sprague Hedi Stadlen Randall Swingler Tilda Swinton A. J. P. Taylor Michael Tippett E. P. Thompson Alan Thornett Dona Torr Philip Toynbee David Triesman Edward Upward Freda Utley Sarah Wesker Harry Wicks Ellen Wilkinson Raymond Williams Tom Wintringham Robert Wyatt

Tankie[edit] Tankie was a pejorative term referring to those members of the Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain
that followed the Kremlin
Kremlin
line, agreeing with the crushing of revolts in Hungary and later Czechoslovakia by Soviet tanks; or more broadly, those who followed a traditional pro-Soviet position.[37] The term originated as a phrase for British hardline members of the Communist Party. Journalist Peter Paterson asked Amalgamated Engineering Union official Reg Birch about his election to the CPGB Executive after the Hungarian invasion:

"When I asked him how he could possibly have sided with the 'tankies', so called because of the use of Russian tanks to quell the revolt, he said 'they wanted a trade unionist who could stomach Hungary, and I fitted the bill'."[38][39]

The support of the invasion of Hungary was disastrous for the party's credibility.[37] The CPGB opposed the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, though a hardline faction supported it. The Party's newspaper, Morning Star, was banned in the Warsaw Pact countries during that time as the paper opposed the invasion.[citation needed] See also[edit]

Communist Party of Britain Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain
(Marxist–Leninist) Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain
(Provisional Central Committee) Communist Students List of political parties in the United Kingdom opposed to austerity Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain
Communist Party of Britain
(Marxist–Leninist) Young Communist League

Notes[edit]

^ Inkpin was imprisoned twice during his time as General Secretary. From May 1921, when he was placed on a highly restrictive bail, until August 1922, shortly after his release, Fred Peet was Acting General Secretary. From 22 October 1925, when he was one of twelve leading communists to be arrested, until his release in late September 1926, Bob Stewart was Acting General Secretary. ^ Although Campbell does not usually appear on lists of General Secretaries of the CPGB, Matthew Worley's Class Against Class: The Communist Party in Britain Between the Wars details how Campbell became the party's leading figure with the title "Political Secretary" in July 1928. This was changed to "General Secretary" in February 1929, then back to "Political Secretary" in May 1929, now subordinate to Pollitt. ^ Pollitt assumed the leading role in the party in May 1929 with the title of "Organisational Secretary"; he became General Secretary in July 1929.

References[edit]

^ Simkin, John (August 2014). "The Communist Party of Great Britain". spartacus-educational.com. Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 31 August 2015.  ^ "British communists propose name change". Herald-Journal. 23 November 1991. Retrieved 9 February 2010.  ^ Barberis, Peter/McHugh, John/Tyldesley, Mike. Encyclopedia of British and Irish political organizations : parties, groups and movements of the 20th century. New York City/London: Continuum, 2001. 149 ^ Collette, Christine/Leybourn, Keith. Modern Britain since 1979 a reader. London/New York City: I.B. Tauris, 2003. p. 2 ^ Wheeler, Brian. What happened to the Communist Party of Great Britain's millions?, BBC News, London, published 13 June 2012, retrieved 16 July 2015 ^ "1988-97 Re-establishing the Party".  ^ James Klugmann, History of the Communist Party of Great Britain, Volume One: Formation and Early Years, 1919–1924. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1968; pp. 21, 25. ^ The Papers of the Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain
(1920–1994). Held at Labour History Archive and Study Centre Archived 2007-10-12 at the Wayback Machine.. ^ Online abstract and index available. Extent: 235.5 (841 boxes). Retrieved June 14, 2006. ^ Francis Elliott (8 October 2006). "Churchill's spy chief and the Zinoviev Letter". The Independent. Retrieved 15 June 2013.  ^ Bennett, A Most Extraordinary and Mysterious Business, pp. 2–3. ^ According to Joe Jacobs, the party centre tried to stop its members taking part in the defence of Cable Street from the Blackshirts, such that they had to operate under the cover of the 'Ex-Servicemen's Association', and on the day, the party put out a leaflet for another demonstration in Trafalgar Square to draw members away from the East End. Joe Jacobs, Out of the Ghetto, London: Phoenix Books, 1991, p. 238. However, Phil Piratin's personal account suggests the opposite, i.e. the central role of the Communist Party leadership to the anti-fascist actions against the BUF. Phil Piratin, Our Flag stays Red, Lawrence & Wishart, 2006. ^ "Communist Party - HARRY POLLITT - 1890-1960". communist-party.org.uk.  ^ Biography of Harry Pollitt
Harry Pollitt
by Kevin Morgan, Manchester University Press 1993 pp 108–116 ^ The patriotic stance of the CPGB was such that in 1943 at a by-election in Cardiff they actively campaigned for the Conservative Party candidate against Fenner Brockway, the Independent Labour Party candidate. Robert Black, Stalinism
Stalinism
in Britain: A Trotskyist Analysis. London: New Park Publications, 1970; pp. 170–171. According to Trotskyist Brian Pearce, "during the entire period up to the fall of France the British Communist Party functioned as a propaganda agency for Hitler." B. Farnborough, "Marxists in the Second World War," Labour Review, Vol. 4 No. 1, April–May 1959, pp. 25–28 However, as Trotskyism continued to attack the Soviet Union, aid European social-democracy and support striking militants, the CPGB considered necessary to put up an intense fight to resist the so-called 'Trotskyists agents'. [1] William Wainwright's pamphlet Clear out Trotsky's Agents warned: You must train yourself to round up these other more cunning enemies ... they are called Trotskyists'. "Resolution of the Central Committee of the R.C.P.", May 1925; Black, Stalinism
Stalinism
in Britain, pg. 190. ^ Keith Laybourn, Marxism in Britain: Dissent, Decline and Re-emergence 1945-c.2000, Taylor & Francis, 2006, p. 3. ^ a b c d e A.J. Davies, To Build A New Jerusalem. London: Abacus, 1996, p. 179. ^ Nineteenth Congress of the Communist Party of Great Britain, Conference Report, February 1947, p. 18 ^ David Butler and Gareth Butler, British Political Facts. 10th Edition. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010; pg. 196. ^ Geoff Andrews, Endgames and New Times: The Final Years of British Communism, 1964–1991. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 2004; pg. 90. According to Andrews, "in the 1950s the CPGB's Reuben Falber received around £100 000 a year from the CPSU, and into the seventies was still being paid around £15 000 "for pensions", who adds "recipients included Rajani Palme Dutt". Ibid., p. 94. ^ "Obituary: George Matthews". The Guardian. 21 December 2016.  ^ Herbert Pimlott, "From 'Old Left' to 'New Labour'? Eric Hobsbawm
Eric Hobsbawm
and the Rhetoric of 'Realistic Marxism'", Labour/Le Travail, vol. 56 (2005), pg. 185. ^ Andrews, Endgames and New Times, pg. 107. ^ Andrews, Endgames and New Times, pg. 115. ^ Andrews, Endgames and New Times, pp. 93-94. ^ Andrews, Endgames and New Times, pg. 144. ^ Andrews, Endgames and New Times, pg. 148. ^ Francis Beckett, The Enemy within: Rise and Fall of the British Communist Party. London: John Murray, 1995; pg. 197. ^ a b c Brian Wheeler (13 June 2012). "What happened to the Communist Party of Great Britain's millions?". BBC News. Retrieved 15 June 2013.  ^ "A History of The Progressive Left in Britain". Archived from the original on 2008-10-24. Retrieved 2016-12-05.  ^ Bryn Morgan. "General Election results, 1 May 1997" (PDF). House of Commons Library. p. 6. Retrieved 18 October 2015.  ^ Bryn Morgan. "General Election results, 7 June 2001" (PDF). House of Commons Library. p. 11. Retrieved 18 October 2015.  ^ "2005 General election results". UK Political Info. Retrieved 18 October 2015.  ^ "Election 2010 Results". BBC News. Retrieved 22 January 2014.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "UK 2015 general election results in full", The Guardian, ^ "Robert William ROBSON – The National Archives,Kew". Reference to released documents about Robson. The National Archives, Kew. Retrieved 11 June 2014.  ^ a b Stephen Drive Understanding British Party Politics, p. 154 ^ How Much More of This, Old Boy-- ?: Scenes from a Reporter's Life, Peter Paterson p.181 ^ Reg Birch's hardline attitudes later led him to split away from the CPGB to form a pro-Albanian Maoist party.

Further reading[edit] Secondary sources[edit]

Geoff Andrews Endgames and New Times: The Final Years of British Communism, 1964–1991. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 2004. Geoff Andrews, Nina Fishman
Nina Fishman
& Kevin Morgan, Opening the Books: Essays on the Cultural and Social History of the British Communist Party. Palgrave, 1995. John Attfield & Stephen Williams, 1939: The Communist Party and the War. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1984. Francis Beckett, The Enemy Within: Rise and Fall of the British Communist Party. London: John Murray, 1995. Thomas Bell, The British Communist Party: a Short History. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1937. Robert Black, Stalinism
Stalinism
in Britain: A Trotskyist Analysis. London: New Park Publications, 1970. Sam Bornstein and Al Richardson, Two Steps Back: Communists and the Wider Labour Movement, 1939–1945. London: Socialist Platform, 1982. Philip Bounds, British Communism
Communism
and the Politics of Literature, 1928–1939. London: Merlin Press, 2012. Noreen Branson, History of the Communist Party of Great Britain, 1927–1941. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1985. Noreen Branson, History of the Communist Party of Great Britain, 1941–1951. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1997. Daniel F. Calhoun, The United Front: The TUC and the Russians, 1923–1928. Cambridge University Press, 1976. John Callaghan and Ben Harker, British Communism: A Documentary History. Manchester University Press, 2011. John Callaghan, Cold War, Crisis and Conflict: The CPGB 1951–68. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 2003. John Callaghan, Rajani Palme Dutt: A Study in British Stalinism. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1993. Raymond Challinor, The Origins of British Bolshevism. Croom Helm, 1977. Andy Croft (ed.) A Weapon in the Struggle: The Cultural History of the Communist Party in Britain. London: Pluto Press, 1998. Andy Croft (ed.) After the Party: Reflections on Life Since the CPGB. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 2012. Richard Croucher, Engineers At War. Merlin Press, 1982. Ralph Darlington, The Political Trajectory of J.T. Murphy. Liverpool University Press, 1998. Bob (C. H.) Darke, The Communist Technique in Britain. London: Penguin, 1951. Hugh Dewar, Communist Politics in Britain: The CPGB from its Origin to the Second World War. London: Pluto Press, 1976. James Eadon and Dave Renton, The Communist Party of Great Britain since 1920. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002. Nina Fishman, Arthur Horner: A Political Biography. Volume 1 1894–1944 & Volume 2 1944–1968. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 2010. Nina Fishman
Nina Fishman
& Kevin Morgan (eds.) The British Communist Party and the Trade Unions 1933–1945. Hants: Scolar Press, 1995. Nina Fishman, "The British Road is Resurfaced for New Times: From the British Communist Party to the Democratic Left." in Bull, Martin J. & Heywood, Paul M. (eds.), West European Communist Parties after the Revolutions of 1989 Palgrave, 1994. Hywel Francis, Miners Against Fascism. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1984. Jim Fyrth (ed.), Britain, Fascism
Fascism
and the Popular Front. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1985. John Green, Britain's Communists: The Untold Story. Artery Publications, 2014. James Hinton, The First Shop Stewards' Movement. Allen & Unwin, 1973. James Hinton & Richard Hyman, Trade Unions and Revolution: Industrial Politics of the Early British Communist Party. London: Pluto Press, 1975. James Jupp, The Radical Left in Britain, 1931–1941. London: Frank Cass, 1982. Peter Kerrigan. The Communist Party. London, 1944. Francis King & George Matthews (eds.), About Turn: The British Communist Party and the Second World War: The Verbatim Record of the Central Committee Meetings of 25 September and 2–3 October 1939. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1990. James Klugmann, History of the Communist Party of Great Britain, Volume One: Formation and Early Years, 1919–1924. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1968. James Klugmann, History of the Communist Party of Great Britain, Volume Two: The General Strike, 1925–1926. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1969. Keith Laybourn, Marxism in Britain: Dissent, Decline and Re-emergence 1945-c.2000. Oxon: Routledge, 2006. Keith Laybourn & Dylan Murphy, Under the Red
Red
Flag: The History of Communism
Communism
in Britain. Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 1999. Thomas Linehan, Communism
Communism
in Britain, 1920–39: From the Cradle to the Grave. Manchester University Press, 2007. L.J. Macfarlane, The British Communist Party: Its Origin and Development until 1929. London: MacGibbon and Kee, 1966. Stuart Macintyre, Little Moscows: Communism
Communism
and Working-Class Militancy in Inter-war Britain. London: Croom Helm, 1980. John Mahon, Harry Pollitt: A Biography. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1976. Kevin Marsh and Robert Griffiths, Granite and Honey: the Story of Phil Piratin, Communist MP. Manifesto Press, 2012. Roderick Martin, Communism
Communism
and the British Trade Unions, 1924–1933: A Study of the National Minority Movement. London: Clarendon Press, 1969. John McIlroy, Kevin Morgan & Alan Campbell (eds), Party People, Communist Lives: Explorations in Biography, London: Lawrence and Wishart, 2001. Kevin Morgan, Against Fascism
Fascism
and War: Ruptures and Continuities in British Communist Politics 1935–41. Manchester University Press, 1989. Kevin Morgan, Bolshevism and the British Left, Part 1: Labour Legends and Russian Gold. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 2006. Kevin Morgan, Bolshevism, Syndicalism and the General Strike: The Lost Internationalist World of A. A. Purcell. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 2013. Kevin Morgan, Gidon Cohen & Andrew Flinn, Communists and British Society 1920–1991: People of a Special
Special
Mould. London: Rivers Oram Press, 2003. Kevin Morgan, Harry Pollitt, Manchester University Press, 1993. Andrew Murray, The Communist Party of Great Britain: A Historical Analysis to 1941. Liverpool: Communist Liaison, 1995. Kenneth Newton, The Sociology of British Communism. Allen Lane, 1969. F.S. Northedge & Audrey Wells, British and Soviet Communism: The Impact of a Revolution. London: Macmillan, 1982. Lawrence Parker, The Kick Inside: Revolutionary Opposition in the CPGB, 1945–1991. November Publications, 2012. Brian Pearce and Michael Woodhouse, (Essays on the) History of Communism
Communism
in Britain. 1969; Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1975; London: Bookmarks, 1995. Henry Pelling, The British Communist Party: A Historical Profile. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1958. Herbert Pimlott, "From 'Old Left' to 'New Labour'? Eric Hobsbawm
Eric Hobsbawm
and the Rhetoric of 'Realistic Marxism'," Labour/Le Travail, vol. 56 (2005), pp. 175–197. Neil C. Rafeek, Communist Women in Scotland: Red
Red
Clydeside from the Russian Revolution to the End of the Soviet Union. New York: I.B.Tauris, 2008. Neil Redfern, Class or Nation: Communists, Imperialism and Two World Wars. London: Tauris Academic Studies, 2005. Raphael Samuel, The Lost World of British Communism. London: Verso, 2006. Seifert, R. & Sibley, T. Revolutionary Communist At Work: A Political Biography of Bert Ramelson. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 2012. Mike Squires, Saklatvala: A Political Biography. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1990. Willie Thompson, The Good Old Cause: British Communism, 1920–1991. London: Pluto Press, 1992. Andrew Thorpe, "The Communist International
Communist International
and the British Communist Party." in Tim Rees and Andrew Thorpe (eds.), International Communism and the Communist International, 1919–43. Manchester University Press, 1998. Andrew Thorpe, The British Communist Party and Moscow, 1920–1943. Manchester University Press, 2000. Neal Wood, Communism
Communism
and British Intellectuals. New York: Columbia University Press, 1959. Matthew Worley, Class Against Class: The Communist Party in Britain Between the Wars. New York: I.B. Tauris, 2002.

Primary sources[edit]

Thomas Bell, Pioneering Days. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1941. Phil Cohen, Children of the Revolution: Communist Childhood in Cold War Britain. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1997. William Gallacher, Revolt on the Clyde: an Autobiography. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1936. William Gallacher, The Last Memoirs. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1966. Douglas Hyde, I Believed: The Autobiography of a Former British Communist. London: Heinemann, 1950. Joe Jacobs, Out of the Ghetto. London: Phoenix Books, 1991. Alison Macleod, The Death of Uncle Joe. Merlin Press, 1997. Harry McShane & Joan Smith, Harry McShane: No Mean Fighter. London: Pluto Press, 1978. J.T. Murphy, New Horizons. London: The Bodley Head, 1941. Phil Piratin, Our Flag Stays Red. London: Thames Publications, 1948; London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1978/2006. Harry Pollitt, Serving My Time: An Apprenticeship to Politics. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1940. Muriel Seltman, What's Left? What's Right? Troubadour, 2010. Frank Watters, Being Frank. Doncaster: Frank Watters, 1992. Fred Westacott, Shaking the Chains. Chesterfield: Joe Clark, 2002 Harry Wicks, Keeping My Head: The Memoirs of a British Bolshevik. London: Socialist Platform, 1992.

External links[edit]

The 20th Congress and the British Communist Party by J.Saville. pdf file Short History of the Communist Party, Communist Party of Britain The Burial of the CPGB, International Library of the Communist Left Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain
Archive Marxists Internet Archive A-Z of Communist Biographies by Graham Stevenson

v t e

Communist Party of Great Britain

Leadership

General Secretaries

Albert Inkpin
Albert Inkpin
(1920–28) J. R. Campbell (1929) Harry Pollitt
Harry Pollitt
(1929-39) Rajani Palme Dutt
Rajani Palme Dutt
(1939-41) Harry Pollitt
Harry Pollitt
(1941-56) John Gollan
John Gollan
(1956-75) Gordon McLennan (1975-89) Nina Temple (1989-91)

Assistant General Secretaries

Fred Peet (1920-22) John Gollan
John Gollan
(1947-49) George Matthews (1949-56) Bill Wainwright (1956-59) Bill Alexander (1959-67) Reuben Falber (1968-79)

Chairs

Arthur MacManus
Arthur MacManus
(1920-27) Willie Gallacher (1943-56) Harry Pollitt
Harry Pollitt
(1956-60) Tony Chater (1968-70) John Tocher (1970-72) Irene Swann (1972-74) Mick McGahey
Mick McGahey
(1974-78) Ron Halverson (1980s) George Bolton (1980s-90) Marian Darke (1990-91)

National Organisers

Tom Bell (1920-21) Bob Stewart (1921-23) Harry Pollitt
Harry Pollitt
(1923) Idris Cox (1930s) R. W. Robson (1930s) Dave Springhall
Dave Springhall
(1940-43) Peter Kerrigan (1943-51) Mick Bennett (1951-54) John Gollan
John Gollan
(1954-56) Bill Lauchlan (1956-66) Gordon McLennan (1966-75) Dave Cook (1975-81) Ian McKay (1980s-91)

National Industrial Organisers

Ernie Woolley (1925-) Finlay Hart (1937-39) Peter Kerrigan (1939-42) George Allison (1942?-51) Peter Kerrigan (1951-66) Bert Ramelson
Bert Ramelson
(1965-78) Mick Costello (1979-82) Pete Carter (1982-91)

Publications

Marxism Today Morning Star Workers' Weekly

Associated groups

Communist Party Historians Group Communist Party of Jersey Democratic Left Green Socialist Network National Minority Movement National Unemployed Workers' Movement New Politics Network New Times Straight Left Young Communist League Connolly Association

Predecessors

British Socialist Party Communist Labour Party Communist Party (British Section of the Third International) Communist Unity Group South Wales Socialist Society

Splits

Appeal Group Committee to Defeat Revisionism, for Communist Unity Communist League Communist Party of Britain Communist Party of Britain
Communist Party of Britain
(Marxist–Leninist) Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain
(PCC) Communist Workers' Party Fife Socialist League New Communist Party of Britain New Left Revolutionary Marxist-Leninist League

Other topics

Britain's Road to Socialism Campbell Case Election results Zinoviev letter

v t e

Far-left politics
Far-left politics
in the United Kingdom

Groups

Extant

Marxist-Leninist

Communist Party of Britain Communist Party of Britain
Communist Party of Britain
(Marxist–Leninist) Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain
(Marxist–Leninist) Communist Party of Scotland EPSR Supporters New Communist Party of Britain Revolutionary Communist Group Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain
Communist Party of Britain
(Marxist–Leninist) Stalin Society

Trotskyist

Alliance for Workers' Liberty Communist League
Communist League
(1988) International Socialist League Red
Red
Flag Platform Socialist Action Socialist Appeal Socialist Equality Party Socialist Party Socialist Party Scotland Socialist Resistance Socialist Workers Party Solidarity (Scotland) Spartacist League Workers' Fight WIRFI Supporters Workers Revolutionary Party

Left-anarchist

Anarchist Federation Freedom Press London Action Resource Centre Solidarity Federation

Miscellaneous

Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain
(Provisional Central Committee) (Incl. Communist Students) Communist Workers Organisation Independent Working Class Association Industrial Workers of the World London Black Revolutionaries Socialist Party of Great Britain Socialist Studies World Revolution (UK)

Defunct

Marxist-Leninist

Association of Communist Workers British and Irish Communist Organisation Committee to Defeat Revisionism, for Communist Unity Communist Labour Party (Scotland) Communist League
Communist League
of Great Britain Communist Organisation in the British Isles Communist Party of Great Britain Communist Workers League of Britain (Marxist–Leninist) English People's Liberation Army Revolutionary Communist League
Communist League
of Britain Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent Revolutionary Marxist–Leninist League Revolutionary Policy Committee South Wales Socialist Society Workers' Institute of Marxism–Leninism–Mao Zedong Thought Workers Party of Scotland Working People's Party of England

Trotskyist

The Club Communist Forum Communist League
Communist League
(1932) Communist League
Communist League
(1990) International Group International Marxist
Marxist
Group International Socialist Group International Socialist Group (Scotland) International Socialist Movement International Socialist Network League for Socialist Action Left Alternative Left Fraction Leninist League Marxist
Marxist
Group Marxist
Marxist
Party Marxist
Marxist
Worker Militant Group Militant Tendency Movement for Socialism Peace and Progress Party Permanent Revolution Red
Red
Action Revolutionary Communist League
Communist League
(Chartist) Revolutionary Communist Party (1944) Revolutionary Communist Party (1978) Revolutionary Democratic Group Revolutionary Socialist League (1938) Revolutionary Socialist League (1957) Revolutionary Socialist Party Revolutionary Workers' Party Scottish Militant Labour Socialist Democracy Group Socialist Group Socialist Labour Group Socialist Solidarity Network Socialist Unity Network Workers' International League (1937) Workers' International League (1985) Workers' Internationalist League Workers League Workers' Socialist League

Left-anarchist

Angry Brigade Class War King Mob Movement Against the Monarchy Space Hijackers United Socialist Movement WOMBLES

Miscellaneous

Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation Big Flame British Advocates of Industrial Unionism Communist Bulletin Group Communist League
Communist League
(1847) Communist League
Communist League
(1919) Communist Party (British Section of the Third International) Communist Party of South Wales and the West of England Communist Unity Group Industrial Syndicalist Education League Labour Emancipation League Red
Red
Party Respect Party Socialist Labour Party (1903) Socialist League Solidarity Workers' Socialist Federation

Electoral alliances

No2EU Red
Red
Front Socialist Alliance Socialist Environmental Alliance Socialist Green Unity Coalition Socialist Unity

v t e

XV International Brigade
XV International Brigade
– "Abraham Lincoln"

Commanders

János Gálicz (Jan–Feb 1937) Vladimir Ćopić
Vladimir Ćopić
(Feb–Jul 1937) Klaus Becker (Jul–Aug 1937) Vladimir Ćopić
Vladimir Ćopić
(Aug 1937–Mar 1938) Robert Hale Merriman (Mar–Apr 1938) Vladimir Ćopić
Vladimir Ćopić
(Apr–May 1938) José Antonio Valledor Álvarez (May–Sep 1938)

Battalions

British Battalion Lincoln Battalion
Lincoln Battalion
(incl. American Medical Bureau
American Medical Bureau
& Connolly Column) Dimitrov Battalion Sixth of February Battalion 24 Battalion Mackenzie–Papineau Battalion Washington Battalion

People

Bill Alexander Edward K. Barsky James Walker Benét Alvah Bessie Delmer Berg Herman Bottcher Edward A. Carter Jr. Christopher Caudwell Lewis Clive Morris Cohen Fred Copeman John Cornford Jock Cunningham Peko Dapčević Carmelo Delgado Delgado Charles Donnelly Bob Doyle Petar Drapšin Frank Edwards Leo Eloesser Moe Fishman John Gates Jason Gurney William Herrick Robert Hilliard Jack Jones Robert Klonsky Oliver Law Laurie Lee Maurice Levitas Yank Levy Alex McDade Kosta Nađ Conlon Nancarrow George Nathan Steve Nelson Michael O'Riordan Thomas Patten Will Paynter Koča Popović Harry Wayland Randall Esmond Romilly Frank Ryan Alfred Sherman George Sossenko Stephen Spender Wally Tapsell Robert G. Thompson Tom Wintringham Milton Wolff

Political parties

Communist Party USA Communist Party of Great Britain Communist Party of Canada Communist Party of Ireland Republican Congress League of Communists of Yugoslavia Communist Party of Cuba

Related

International Brigades Communist International Yankee Squadron International Brigade Memorial Trust Jarama Valley Songs of the Lincoln Battalion Viva la Quinta Brigada Jewish volunteers Yugoslav volunteers Irish volunteers Yugoslav Partisans Atom

.