‘Implacable enemies’? The Labour Party and the intelligence community in 1920s Britain
AbstractThe 1920s marked the first decade in which the Labour Party and the British intelligence community had to work closely together. Their relations during this period, which were often strained, have come to be defined by the Zinoviev letter affair. Allegations that intelligence officials leaked the Zinoviev letter to bring down the Labour government in 1924 have persisted for the last century. Using documents that have been largely unexplored, this article argues that the Zinoviev affair was not an isolated incident. It uses two specific case studies to show that a small number of intelligence officials also leaked sensitive information, in the years before and after 1924, in an attempt to undermine and discredit prominent Labour Party figures. By analysing events in the years before and after the Zinoviev affair, the article illustrates how relations between the British state and the Labour Party fluctuated providing a fresh understanding of Labour Party-intelligence relations during the interwar years.
CitationKassimeris, G. and Price, O. (2024) ‘Implacable enemies’? The Labour Party and the intelligence community in 1920s Britain. Contemporary British History. DOI: 10.1080/13619462.2023.2293742
PublisherTaylor & Francis
JournalContemporary British History
Description© 2024 The Authors. Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an open access article available under a Creative Commons licence. The published version can be accessed at the following link on the publisher’s website: https://doi.org/10.1080/13619462.2023.2293742
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/