|1906 A branch of the Independent Labour Party formed in Cambridge. Initially concerned with political education, ignoring local politics.
Labour Representative Committee set up: composed of representatives from trade unions, the I.L.P. and the University Fabian Society.
I.L.P. candidate Tom Orrey, a railwayman, contests the Romsey seat in the Borough Council election: the first Labour candidate for public office in Cambridge. Campaign issues include better housing, improved sanitation and education, and better wages and working conditions for council employees – to set an example to the private sector. He also demands evening meetings of the Council, which would enable working people to be councillors. He loses.
Cambridge Labour Party founded by the I.L.P., union representatives from the railway workers, building trades, printers and shop assistants, and the Fabians.
Labour contests the Cambridge parliamentary seat for the first time. The Rev. T. Rhonddha Williams, a Congregationalist minister, is the candidate. He doesn’t win, but does retain his deposit – an important first step.
First three Labour members elected to the Town Council:
Cambridge Trades Council and Labour Party buy the old malting house in Norfolk Street, converting it for use as the party headquarters. George Lansbury MP opens the renovated building.
Romsey Labour Club opens, built by Romsey branch of the Labour Party over a period of four years, using volunteer labour and local fund-raising. It becomes a centre for political and social activities in the heart of “Red Romsey”, the ward that could guarantee to return Labour councillors in all local elections.
William Briggs, a railwayman and lifelong Labour activist, becomes the first Labour Mayor of Cambridge. He had been one of the group who decided to put up the first parliamentary candidate in 1918, and the head of the committee that built the Romsey Labour Club.
Cambridge Labour Party celebrates its Silver Jubilee, with a week of special events including a dinner for four hundred guests at the Dorothy Restaurant, attended by Clement Attlee and Hugh Dalton, and a mass meeting at the Guildhall addressed by Dr Alex Wood, who was Labour’s parliamentary candidate throughout the 1930s, gaining more votes at each successive election. Labour now has twelve town and county councillors.
Leslie Symonds elected as the first Labour MP for Cambridge, to serve until 1950. Born in Cambridge, he had won a scholarship that enabled him to study at the University, and had chaired the University Labour Club, becoming a teacher after graduation and seeing active service in the war.
Robert Davies elected as Labour’s second MP in Cambridge. A founder member of Cambridge CND and a left-winger, he was respected for his independent views. Sadly, he died suddenly in 1968 and Labour failed to retain the seat at the resulting by-election.
Following local government reorganisation, Labour sweeps into control of the new Cambridge District Council, taking 26 of the 42 seats – the first time that Labour has had overall control in the city. Peter Wright, the new council leader, promises to build 400 new council houses a year.
Brenda Dean, General Secretary of SOGAT, opens the new Alex Wood Hall in Norfolk Street, a replacement for the old headquarters building which had deteriorated. Part of the site had been sold for housing in order to fund the construction of a modern hall with two storeys of offices.
Anne Campbell elected as Labour MP for Cambridge: the first woman to represent the city.
A Labour Government comes to power with a landslide victory. Anne Campbell retains the Cambridge seat, the first time a Labour MP has succeeded in doing so.
Anne Campbell is elected for a third term as MP for Cambridge, part of the historic second term victory for the Labour government.
Labour wins an historic third term Government.
Cambridge Labour Party select Daniel Zeichner as our new Parliamentary Candidate.
Cambridge Labour Party continues to campaign on the issues that matter to you. Why not get involved?
400 guests attend jubilee dinner
Robert Davies Labour MP for Cambridge 1966-67
Neil Kinnock, Roy Hattersley and Chris Howard
during the 1987 general election campaign