Independent Socialist Party (UK)

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The Independent Socialist Party (ISP) was a political party in the UK. It was formed in 1934 as a breakway from the Independent Labour Party (ILP) in protest at the increasing power of the Revolutionary Policy Committee within the ILP.

The ISP was led by Elijah Sandham, a former ILP MP who had been Chairman of the Lancashire Division of the ILP. The Lancashire ILP newspaper Labour's Northern Voice also supported the ISP. Outside Lancashire, the ISP was supported by the literary critic John Middleton Murry and his Adelphi magazine - and a small ISP based community was founded around his East Anglian home to show socialism as a living entity.

The ISP was socialist and resolutely anti-war, but was firmly anti-communist.

It failed to gain substantial support after its formation, and, following the death of its founders in the 1950s, the party wound itself up.


Gidon Cohen (2003) The Independent Socialist Party in Gildart, Howell and Kirk (eds) Dictionary of Labour Biography