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Keir Hardie (1856-1915), Socialist leader and founder of the Labour Party
(James) Keir Hardie (né James Kerr)
Sitter in 21 portraits
Socialist, miner, trade unionist, MP (1892-5, 1900-15) and leader of the Labour Party (1906-8). Born in a one-room cottage in Lanarkshire, Hardie entered parliament in 1892 as independent Labour MP for West Ham South, one of the very first working class members. He made his entrance into the House of Commons heralded by a brass band, and wearing a tweed suit and deerstalker hat, thus becoming known as 'the man in the cloth cap'. He became the first leader of the Labour Party in the House of Commons in 1906. An eloquent spokesman and greatly respected pioneer, he was largely responsible for the creation of the Labour Party as a political force.