• John Shepherd
  • Keith Laybourn


When Labour took office in January 1924, Beatrice Webb predicted that Ramsay MacDonald’s minority administration would not last out the year.1 However, G. D. H. Cole, who witnessed the vicissitudes of Labour in office as one of its first historians, believed that the Labour ministry was relatively secure — despite its precarious minority position. Nearly 25 years later, he recalled that ‘up to the summer recess the Government, in view of the great difficulties under it which it had to work in Parliament, was on the whole doing reasonably well, except in its handling of Indian and Egyptian affairs’. By the summer recess as the politicians left Westminster, there were three main concerns confronting the administration — the Irish boundary dispute, the negotiations over the Anglo-Soviet Treaty, and the prosecution of J. R. Campbell, the editor of the WorkersWeekly. At the time, none seemed like gathering storms on the political horizon to sweep away the MacDonald administration.


Prime Minister Election Campaign Labour Government Labour Party Opposition Parti 
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© John Shepherd and Keith Laybourn 2006

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  • John Shepherd
  • Keith Laybourn

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