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Ramsay MacDonald (1866-1937), Prime Minister

(James) Ramsay MacDonald

Sitter in 63 portraits
With Keir Hardie, Macdonald created the Labour Representation Committee in 1900 and, in a pact with the Liberals, was among the first Labour MPs to be elected in 1906. He was Leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party 1911-14 and 1922-31. A moderate, Macdonald persuaded his party to reject communism in 1920. He became Britain's first Labour Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary in 1924. When the Depression brought Macdonald's second term of office to an end in 1931, he became premier of a National Government, but was expelled from the Labour Party. Accused by many of 'falling into the aristocratic embrace', he nevertheless saw Labour overtake the Liberals to become the alternative party of government.

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