Communist League (UK, 1932)

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The Communist League was the first Trotskyist group in Britain. It was formed in 1932 by former members of the Communist Party of Great Britain from Balham and Tooting in South London, including Harry Wicks. They had been expelled after forming a loose grouping inside the CPGB, known as the Balham Group later the British Section of the International Left Opposition. They published a monthly newspaper named Red Flag and a quarterly journal The Communist.[1]

In 1933, Leon Trotsky suggested the group should enter the Independent Labour Party, but the leadership decided to attempt to influence the party's members without joining. In 1934, a small group led by Denzil Dean Harber did enter the ILP as the Bolshevik-Leninist Fraction, and formed the core of the Marxist Group which C. L. R. James joined. Slow progress led to more splits, with the formation of the entrist Bolshevik-Leninist Group in the Labour Party in 1935, 1936 and 1937.[1]

The Communist League then dissolved and its members entered the Labour Party as the Marxist League, led by Harry Wicks. He began working closely with C. L. R. James, by then leader of the Marxist Group, and in 1938 the two merged to form the Revolutionary Socialist League.