‘The Trojan Horse’: Communist entrism in the British Labour party, 1933–43

Campbell, Alan and McIlroy, John (2018) ‘The Trojan Horse’: Communist entrism in the British Labour party, 1933–43. Labor History . ISSN 0023-656X (Published online first)

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Abstract

Entrism – the infiltration of political organisations by competitors – is typically associated with Trotskyism. Large-scale Communist entrism in the British Labour Party has been neglected by historians and reference in the literature is slight and impressionistic. Archival material permits reconstruction of a sustained attempt by the Comintern and British Communists to subvert Labour Party policy between 1933 and 1943. Documenting the development and dimensions of Communist entrism, this article establishes that, by 1937, 10 per cent of Communist Party (CPGB) members were operating secretly inside British Labour, campaigning to change its policy on affiliation and engineer a popular front. Biographies of fifty-five such Communists provide new data and permit a typology of entrist activity. The episode sheds new light on popular front initiatives and the extent of genuine support for them within Labour. It illuminates the conspiratorial side of Stalinist activity at a time when the CPGB presented itself as a conventional British party.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > International Management and Innovation
Item ID: 23927
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Labor History on 12/03/2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/0023656X.2018.1436938
Depositing User: John Mcilroy
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2018 15:57
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2018 19:57
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/23927

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