Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist–Leninist)

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Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist–Leninist)
Chairman Harpal Brar
Vice Chairman Ella Rule
General Secretary Zane Carpenter
Founded 2004
Split from Socialist Labour Party
Headquarters London, England
Newspaper Proletarian
Youth wing Red Youth
Ideology Communism,
Political position Far-left
International affiliation None
Colours Red, White
Party flag
Flag of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist–Leninist).svg

The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist–Leninist) is a Marxist-Leninist political party in the United Kingdom, under the leadership of Harpal Brar which was created after a split from the Socialist Labour Party (SLP) in 2004. It publishes a bimonthly newspaper, Proletarian and the Marxist journal Lalkar is also closely allied with the party.

Party activity[edit]

The CPGB-ML is involved in a number of British political movements such as Palestinian solidarity,[1] anti-austerity,[2] antiwar,[3] and anti-drone [4]

The CPGB-ML holds two annual events of their own. The CPGB-ML holds an "international BBQ" every year and invites people from countries the CPGB-ML supports and ambassadors from these countries, and an annual october revolution celebration.

The party is known for being the only party to carry a banner of Joseph Stalin, included with a quote by him, every year on the 1st of May International Workers' Day march in London.[5][6]

Party ideology[edit]

The CPGB-ML is a British Communist party active in England, Scotland, and Wales. It publishes regular statements, holds meetings, and demonstrations. The party adheres to a political theory called Marxism-Leninism, which is the same political theory adopted by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The party is notable for their strong defense of Communist leaders such as Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong.

The CPGB-ML was one of few parties in the UK which did not condemn the 2011 England riots, but characterised them as a rudimentary form of anti-capitalist resistance that lacked adequate leadership and direction.[7]

The CPGB-ML opposes social democracy and what they term "revisionist communist" parties. Other Communist parties in the UK have claimed CPGB-ML itself is revisionist. CPGB-ML chairman Harpal Brar published a book called "Social Democracy: The Enemy within"[8]

The CPGB-ML opposes all immigration controls as measures to misdirect workers and blame each other for the crisis rather than the bourgeoisie.

International positions[edit]

The CPGB-ML supports governments around the world which it perceives to be socialist or anti-imperialist. Some examples are Venezuela, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), Russia, Cuba, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, and People's Republic of China. Delegations from the Chinese embassy have attended meetings of the CPGB-ML and members of the CPGB-ML and Red Youth (the youth wing of the CPGB-ML) have made visits to Ecuador.[9] It was one of many anti-war parties to oppose Nato actions in Libya and Syria, and support the governments of Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar Al Assad.[10][11] In 2011 the CPGB-ML party chairman Harpal Brar visited Libya (during the war) to express solidarity with the Libyan people in their fight against NATO.[12] The party also supports the struggle of the Palestinian people against Zionism in Israel, which it characterises as an apartheid state.[13]

Democratic People's Republic of Korea[edit]

In April 2013, the CPGB-ML made clear its support of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and its anti-imperialist stance, as well as its opposition of Western efforts to discourage the state from acquiring nuclear weapons.[14][15] It has called for a defeat of British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a movement of direct action and non-cooperation among British working people, in order to exert its political influence.

Domestic positions[edit]

Northern Ireland[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Irish republicanism.

The CPGB-ML calls for the withdrawal of British troops from the island of Ireland and for a unified 32-county state to be formed. It supports Sinn Féin's leadership of the Good Friday Agreement, which it believes falls within this framework.


For more details on this topic, see Scottish independence.

The party accepted a position at its 2012 congress that there are no separate English and Scottish nations, but rather, when those nations were at the point of developing as modern capitalist economies, their ruling classes joined together to form a British nation.[16] Though the CPGB-ML believes in local democracy, it sees the Scottish independence movement as diversionary from building a working class movement across the historic nation of Great Britain and therefore opposes it. It claims that proposals set forward for Scottish independence will not break the Union, the British state, or the British army in any significant manner.[17] In its opposition to Scottish independence, it stands at odds with the Scottish Socialist Party, the Socialist Workers Party in Scotland, and the Socialist Party Scotland.


The party was founded on July 3, 2004 in London.[18] The party is effectively a split from the Socialist Labour Party (SLP), caused by Arthur Scargill's refusal to accept support for North Korea and other authoritarian states. As a result, Scargill chose to expel a number of members of the party's central committee and its entire Yorkshire region. Those expelled went on to form the CPGB-ML.

The party also has a small number of members from the early days of the British communist movement and the original Communist Party of Great Britain which was associated with the Third International. The current Honorary President is Isabel Crook, wife of David Crook, who celebrated her 100th birthday in 2014. Both were communists who were in Spain during the Spanish Civil War and later went to work for Mao Zedong and the Chinese communists.[19][20] Prominent members included Jack Shapiro, a veteran of the anti-revisionist movement and lifelong communist.[21]

The party's chairman is a retired university law lecturer, writer and businessman Harpal Brar.

The party's vice-chairman and international secretary is Ella Rule.

The party's general secretary is Zane Carpenter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "GAZA 2014: Zionist - Imperialist 'Axis of Oppression' " Proletarian TV, 27 Jul 2014
  2. ^ "Birmingham TUC Hard up festival" Communist Party of Great Britain(Marxist-Leninist), flickr, September 28, 2014
  3. ^ "Defeat the murderous imperialist predatory war against the Syrian people!" statement by the CPGB-ML, 29 August 2013
  4. ^ "Ground the Drones!" blog Red Youth, 29th April 2013
  5. ^ "I’ve just seen Nazi banners in Trafalgar Square. Well, almost" The Spectator, James Bloodworth 2 May 2014
  6. ^ "UK Stalin shows his face at London May Day march, 1 May 2014
  7. ^ "Rage against capitalism; the working class fights back" blog Red Youth August 9, 2011
  8. ^ "Social Democracy: The Enemy within" Amazon UK
  9. ^ "Red Youth speak at October Revolution Celebration Red Youth members attend the festival of Youth and Students in Quito, Ecuador (December 2013)
  10. ^ "The following articles contain the word 'libya' in the title" search on April 17, 2013 of Proletarian for "Libya" which shows half a dozen articles expressing support for the government of Mummar Gaddafi
  11. ^ "The following articles contain the word 'syria' in the title" search on April 17, 2013 of Proletarian for "Syria" which shows about a dozen articles expressing support for the government of Bashar Al Assad
  12. ^ "Harpal Brar visits Libya: video uploaded to youtube by user rayyisse, and re-uploaded by youtube user The 10,000 league
  13. ^ "Congress motions 2: our international solidarity tasks The motions below were passed at the CPGB-ML’s congress on 5 June 2010" Proletarian issue 37 (August 2010)
  14. ^ "Obama to meet South Korea's Park Geun-hye in May". BBC News. 16 April 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  15. ^ Branigan, Tania (15 April 2013). "North Korea's UK ambassador defends Pyongyang's stance in rare speech". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  16. ^ "Scotland: a part of the British nation" Proletarian issue 51 (December 2012)
  17. ^ "The National Question in Scotland: Contributed by the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) as a discussion article". Lalkar. September 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  18. ^ "Formation of the CPGB-ML" Proletarian Issue 1 (August 2004)
  19. ^ "Western witness stays true to the Party line" article by Tan Zongyang in China Daily 2011-06-22
  20. ^ "My memories of 1949 " uploaded on June 21, 2011 by ProletarianCPGBML to YouTube
  21. ^ Biography of Jack & Marie Shapiro on website of Graham Stevenson, accessed April 17, 2013

External links[edit]