The Labour Party conference has, since the party’s foundation, formally been its authoritative decision-making body. Famously described by Clement Attlee as the ‘Parliament of the movement’ (1937, p. 93), the party’s 1918 constitution stated that it was the annual conference which would decide ‘what specific proposals of legislative, financial or administrative reform’ would ‘receive the general support of the Party, and be promoted … by the National Executive and the Parliamentary Labour Party’. The curiosity of a parliamentary party ostensibly controlled by an extra-parliamentary body has long exercised political scientists and politicians alike. However most have concluded, through at least most of the party’s history, that the party leadership had significant freedom to make its own policy decisions.
KeywordsTrade Union Vote Share Rule Change Labour Party Contemporary Issue
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