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Keir Hardie

Keir Hardie
(1836—1915)

Socialist and labour leader

Christianity, trade unionism and temperance were three of the most important early influences on Hardie. His early politics were Liberal but he saw the need of a party to represent working people’s interests. He and Cunninghame Graham founded the Scottish Labour Party in 1888; by 1900 the British Labour Party grew out of this. Hardie himself became an MP, turning up for work in casual tweeds and cloth cap which, with his politics and his plain Scots accent, made him a figure of hatred. He is seen as the father of the Labour Party.