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Labour and Working-Class LivesEssays To Celebrate the Life and Work of Chris Wrigley$
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Keith Laybourn and John Shepherd

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784995270

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784995270.001.0001

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The trade union contribution to the British Labour Party

The trade union contribution to the British Labour Party

(p.87) 5 The trade union contribution to the British Labour Party
Labour and Working-Class Lives

Andrew Thorpe

Manchester University Press

Andrew Thorpe examines the long-established and continuing relationship between the trade unions and the Labour Party. He argues that whilst both organisations have changed over the years, and despite the contentious nature of the alliance, the relationship has proved enduring and profitable because it has made them stronger together than apart. In particular, he examines the origins of this relationship, how it has introduced and how it has intruded into the policy, membership, party structure and parliamentary leadership of Labour Party. Only one of Labour’s six Labour prime ministers. James Callaghan, has come from a trade union background but the others, often coming from a socialist background, have had, as Callaghan did, come to an arrangements with the trade unions movement within the context of what Lewis Minkin referred to as a ‘contentious alliance’.

Keywords:   trade unions, James Callaghan, Labour Party

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