Independent Labour Publications is a left-wing pressure group inside the British Labour Party. It is the successor to the Independent Labour Party and is mostly known simply as "The ILP" in order to maintain that link with its predecessor organisation.

Brief historyEdit

Since its re-establishment in 1975, it has been a campaigning organisation rather than an electoral group (its constitution prevents full members from standing for elective office). Before entering parliament, former Labour member of Parliament Harry Barnes was a member of the ILP. As an MP, he was obliged to resign and he joined a supporters group entitled 'Friends of the ILP'. It has been involved with opposition to various workfare schemes imposed by the British Conservative government of the 1980s, for arguing for open democratic structures within the Labour Party, and for an emphasis on co-operative systems of organising economic activity.

In common with much contemporary left-wing thinking, the ILP's approach rejects both contemporary capitalism and the command economy. But unlike much of the left, it accepts the idea of a market economy as part of democratic socialist thinking. The ILP has been out of line with (or arguably ahead of) many traditional leftist positions, for instance in its rejection of a simple "troops out" approach to the conflict in Northern Ireland, and was critical of what it saw as knee-jerk anti-Americanism on the left following the USA's reaction to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

With a headquarters based in Leeds, the ILP meets in Scarborough annually to discuss political issues, and its internal administration is overseen by a National Administrative Council (NAC).


The organisation publishes occasional pamphlets on contemporary issues. The paper Labour Leader (published 1975-1986) and the ILP Magazine: for socialist renewal (published 1987-1992) were successors to the Independent Labour Party's New Leader (1922–1946) and Socialist leader (1946–1975). A newsletter called Democratic Socialist was the belated successor to the ILP Magazine.