• John Shepherd
  • Keith Laybourn


A quick résumé of the history of Britain’s first Labour government would maintain that it was a minority administration, lucky to be in office, of short duration and achieved little in policy beyond the important Wheatley Housing Act that subsidised the building of local authority rented accommodation for the working class and securing fleeting successes in foreign policy in Europe. Indeed, Britain’s first Labour government has generally been portrayed as a mere cul de sac in the overall history of the Labour Party.


Foreign Policy Trade Union Communist Party Labour Movement Labour Government 
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  1. 1.
    Thomas Jones, Whitehall Diary: Volume 1, 1916–1925 (London: Oxford University Press, 1969), p. 301.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Philip Snowden,The Housewifes Budget (London: Labour Party, 1924).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Keith Laybourn, Unemployment and Employment with Particular Reference to Women in Britain c. 1900–1951 (Lampeter: Edwin Mellen, 2002), particularly chs 3 and 4; Keith Laybourn, ‘Waking up to the Fact that there are any unemployed’: Women, Unemployment and the Domestic Solution in Britain, 1918–1939’, History, 88:4 (2003), pp. 607–23.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    Lewis Minkin, The Contentious Alliance: Trade Unions and the Labour Party (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1991).Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    Ibid., pp. 30–4.Google Scholar

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© John Shepherd and Keith Laybourn 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Shepherd
  • Keith Laybourn

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