From Skeptical Voter Wiki
- See Scottish Labour Party for additional information about the Labour Party in Scotland.
- See Welsh Labour for additional information about the Labour Party in Wales.
The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom. Founded at the start of the 20th century, it has been seen since 1920 as the principal party of the Left in England, Scotland and Wales, but not Northern Ireland, where it has only recently begun to organise again. Labour first surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s. Since then, the party has had several spells in government, at first in minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931, then as a junior partner in the wartime coalition from 1940-1945 and ultimately forming majority governments under Clement Attlee in 1945-1951 and under Harold Wilson in 1964-1970. Labour was in government again in 1974-1979, first under Wilson and then James Callaghan, though with a precarious and declining majority.
The Labour Party won a majority in the 1997 general election under the leadership of Tony Blair, its first general election victory since October 1974 and the first general election since 1970 in which it had exceeded 40% of the popular vote. The party's large majority in the House of Commons was slightly reduced to 167 in the 2001 general election and more substantially reduced to 66 in 2005. It lost power at the 2010 general election, winning only 258 seats, with 326 needed to form a majority government.
Labour is the leading partner in the coalition Welsh government and the main opposition party in the Scottish Parliament. It has 13 members in the European Parliament and is also a member of the Socialist International.
The current party leader is Ed Miliband, chosen by the party in September 2010.
List of Labour MPs
Election Manifesto 2010
The 2010 election manifesto is available on the Labour Party website: http://www2.labour.org.uk/manifesto-splash
Channel 4's FactCheck has published an analysis of various claims in the manifesto: http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/2010/04/12/labour-manifesto-2010-tax-benefits-policing-pensions/
Comment on the science content: http://timesonline.typepad.com/science/2010/04/manifesto-watch-labour-and-the-tories-on-science.html
Stance on Skeptical Issues
Libel Law Reform
It was reported on 22nd November 2009 that Jack Straw is preparing to draw up proposals for wholesale reform of England’s libel laws, and the current large legal fees were said to be "jeopardising freedom of speech, potentially curbing vital debate by scientists, academics and journalists."
On 3rd March 2010 it was reported that Straw planned to cut the "success fees" lawyers can charge in libel cases helping to reduce legal costs.
Straw also set up the Libel Working Group which, on 23rd March 2010, published a report that can be downloaded from the Ministry of Justice's website.
On 23rd March 2010, Straw announced plans for further reform in the next parliament, including consideration of a statutory defence to protect publications that are in the public interest, and moves to prevent the growth of libel tourism.
- ↑ http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article6926997.ece
- ↑ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8548485.stm
- ↑ http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/libel-working-group-report.htm
- ↑ http://www.justice.gov.uk/news/newsrelease230310b.htm