The Labour Independent Group was an organisation of five former Labour Party Members of Parliament (MPs) in the United Kingdom.

In April 1948, the MP John Platts-Mills organised a petition in support of Pietro Nenni and the Italian Socialist Party, who were in alliance with the Italian Communist Party, counter to Labour Party policy. He was expelled from the party.[1] In May 1949, six Labour MPs voted against signing the North Atlantic Treaty, and of them, Lester Hutchinson, Leslie Solley and Konni Zilliacus were expelled.[2]

All these MPs were known for their communist sympathies, and the four joined with another independent MP, Denis Pritt, who had been expelled from the Labour Party in 1940 for supporting the Soviet Union in the Winter War, to form the Labour Independent Group.[2] Pritt was appointed the group's Chairman.[3]

The group regarded Soviet foreign policy as essentially defensive, and criticized the United States and the United Kingdom as bearing the greatest responsibility for the Cold War.

Zilliacus developed a negative impression of Stalin when the two met, and so he resigned from the group later in 1949, instead adopting a position of support for Josip Broz Tito, who he had also met.[2] All four remaining members stood as "Independent Labour" candidates in the 1950 general election, but all lost their seats, thus dissolving the group.[3]


Group Chairman: Denis Pritt.
Group Chairman: Denis Pritt.

1950 general election results

Constituency Candidate Votes Percentage Position
Hammersmith North D. N. Pritt 6,457 25.2 3
Shoreditch and Finsbury John Platts-Mills 7,602 18.0 3
Thurrock Leslie Solley 4,250 9.8 3
Walthamstow West Lester Hutchinson 704 2.0 4


  1. ^ Jeger, Lena (27 October 2001). "John Platts-Mills". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Spartacus: Konni Zilliacus Archived 2006-06-14 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b F. W. S. Craig, Minor Parties at British Parliamentary Elections