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Why was labour so divided between1951-1964?

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George Biagi Why was labour so divided between1951-1964? It was after the 1951 elections, that labour started a long period of internal disputing, clash of ideology, personalities, disputes, principles and the future of the party's policy that lead the labour government to be so divided between 1951-1964. What really started the division within the labour government was Bevan's resignation over the health service charges in April 1951, this developed the Bevanites a subdivision within the Labour party that opposed the new more conservative policies of the new Labour party. This quickly escalated to a clash of personalities and a personal contest between Bevan and Gaitskell for the leadership of the party in succession of Atlee. ...read more.


Another factor that the Bevanites were concerned with was the relations with the United States; they felt that Britain was following too closely. While the rest of the party believed in the nuclear armament and that good foreign policy with the United States would benefit the British economy. Many confrontations kept happening and a party that has internal subdivisions could not possibly make a good opposition to the conservatives. The divisions within the cabin between the Bevanites and the Gaitskellites over the United States, NHS, rearmament and privatisation all of this reached the climax of Bevan's resignation in 1951. ...read more.


Gaitskell won overwhelmingly the battle because the other two candidates were inappropriate: Bevan was seen as unpredictable and was not trusted: Morrison was far too old for the job, this left Gaitskell as the uncontested party leader. So what really divided the party between 1951 and 1964 was the clash of personalities, leadership contest, the lack of cooperation with the party this lead to the lack of party policy and strategy, when the two leading party members were forced to resign in the early 50s. What really kept the party devided while the conservatives were in power were in office was the internal divisions and desputes between the Bevanites and the Gaitskellites over the party policy of the British nuclear detterent and the British - American relations. ...read more.

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