Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist–Leninist)

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Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)
Leader National Leader:
Sean Browne
General Secretary:
Michael Chant
Collective Leadership:
(Central Committee)
Founded 1979
Headquarters John Buckle Centre,
170 Wandsworth Road,
London SW8 2LA
Newspaper Workers Daily (online)
Workers Weekly (online)
Ideology Communism
Political position Far-left
International affiliation None

The Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist–Leninist) (RCPB-ML) is a small British Communist political party. It was named the Communist Party of England (Marxist-Leninist) on initial formation in 1972,[1] until it was reorganised in 1979 after rejecting Maoism and aligning with Albania.[2] The party's thinking is based on the politics of Hardial Bains, who travelled the world founding anti-revisionist communist parties.


Like other Bains-inspired parties, the then CPE(ML) took the Chinese side in the Sino-Soviet split, thus being endorsed by Albania, allied at the time with Maoist China, and opposing both the capitalist West and the Soviet bloc in accordance with the Three Worlds Theory promoted by Beijing. However, during the deterioration in Sino-Albanian relations, it increasingly sided with Hoxha. The CPE(ML) developed party to party relations with the Party of Labour of Albania and renounced China as revisionist.

In 1973 the CPE(ML) put forward 2 candidates in parliamentary by-elections, and in 1974 stood in 6 constituencies in the February general election and 8 seats in the October general election. Their highest recorded vote was 612 (1.2%) in Portsmouth South during the second 1974 general election.[2]

In 1974 the CPE(ML) lost around a tenth of its membership[3] following the expulsion of Aravindan Balakrishnan and an associated group accused of "conspiratorial and splittist activities and.. social fascist slanders against the Party and the proletarian movement";[4] the group became the Workers' Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought.

The party had links with the progressive music milieu in the 1970s, avant-garde composers such as Cornelius Cardew [5] and Michael Chant having been leading members.[6]

The RCPML is closely related to the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) and has good relations with the New Communist Party of Britain. It produces an internet newspaper called Workers' Daily Internet Edition (WDIE), and has a bookshop in south London named John Buckle Books[7] (named after the RCPB(ML) founding general secretary). It has been active in promoting solidarity with North Korea. In 2004, the party declared electoral support for the Respect Coalition, but now calls for an end to the system that brings parties to power and calls on workers' and peoples' collectives to intervene directly in the political process. The party has a system of collective leadership; its National Leader is Chris Coleman and its General Secretary is Michael Chant.[8] The party's logo is a black hammer and sickle within a yellow star on a red background.

RCPBML official Roger Nettleship has stood in several general elections under his own name, including Jarrow in 2005[9] and South Shields in 2001 and 2010.[10]

On November 17 2017, Sean Browne, a highly controversial member of the party, was elected to the leadership position. Many against Browne's election claimed that he was not a true communist, while others praised his authority, leadership, and plans to take charge of the party.

Election results[11][edit]

By-elections, 1970–1974[edit]

Election Candidate Votes Percentage Position
Manchester Exchange by-election, 1973 Pushkin, RuthRuth Pushkin 109 1.1 4
Hove by-election, 1973 Reakes, CaroleCarole Reakes 128 0.3 5

February 1974 UK general election[edit]

Constituency Candidate Votes Percentage Position
Battersea North Reakes, CaroleCarole Reakes 208 0.7 4
Birmingham Handsworth Thompson, S.S. Thompson 334 1.0 4
Brighton Kemptown Buckle, JohnJohn Buckle 170 0.3 4
Lambeth Central Brome, Ekins DentonEkins Denton Brome 107 0.4 5
Manchester Moss Side Pushkin, RuthRuth Pushkin 206 0.6 4
Portsmouth South Rifkin, A. D.A. D. Rifkin 394 0.7 4

October 1974 UK general election[edit]

Constituency Candidate Votes Percentage Position
Battersea North Reakes, CaroleCarole Reakes 102 0.4 5
Birmingham Handsworth Hutchinson, J. L.J. L. Hutchinson 103 0.3 5
Brighton Kemptown Buckle, JohnJohn Buckle 125 0.3 5
Bristol South East Rowe, P.P. Rowe 79 0.1 6
Cardiff South East Harris, B. C. D.B. C. D. Harris 75 0.2 5
Lambeth Central Bratton, Peter JohnPeter John Bratton 88 0.3 5
Leicester South Rousseau, G. H.G. H. Rousseau 136 0.3 5
Portsmouth South Rifkin, A. D.A. D. Rifkin 612 1.2 4

By-elections, 1974–1979[edit]

Election Candidate Votes Percentage Position
Ilford North by-election, 1978 Rowe, CaroleCarole Rowe 89 0.2 6
Lambeth Central by-election, 1978 Munro, StuartStuart Munro 38 0.2 10

Rowe stood as "East London Peoples Front", and Munro stood as "South London Peoples Front".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ EROL. "High Tide: The Consolidation of Maoism by the Late 1970's – Index Page". 
  2. ^ a b David Boothroyd The History of British Political Parties, London: Politicos, 2001, p.244
  3. ^
  4. ^ EROL. "Statements of the National Executive Committee, CPE (ML)". 
  5. ^ Richard Gott, "Liberation Music" [1].A review of Cornelius Cardew: A Life Unfinished by John Tilbury, London Review of Books, 15 March 2009.
  6. ^ "Leader". 
  7. ^ John Buckle Books
  8. ^ "RCPB(ML) New Year Socials Affirm Necessity for a Change in Direction of Society and Working to Build the New in 2017". 
  9. ^ "Workers Daily Internet Edition Year 2005 No. 43". 
  10. ^ "Workers Daily Internet Edition Year 2010 No. 21". 
  11. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1975). Minor Parties in British By-elections, 1885-1974. London: Macmillan Press. p. 17. 

External links[edit]