Independent Liberal Party (UK, 1931)

Independent Liberal Party (UK, 1931)

The Independent Liberal Party was the name sometimes used for a small group led by the former Liberal Party leader, David Lloyd George. It was formed in October 1931 when the Liberal Party split in three over its position on the continued existence of the National Government with some seeking to give the government full support (becoming the National Liberals), some seeking to stay in government but oppose any attempt to introduce protective tariffs (remaining as the official Liberals) and a small handful who withdrew all support for the National Government completely in defence of free trade. The latter mainly consisted of Lloyd George and four MPs, all of whom were related to him - son Gwilym Lloyd George, daughter Megan Lloyd George and relatives Goronwy Owen and Frank Owen. In the 1931 general election a few other Liberal candidates stood on the same platform, including the writer Edgar Wallace. Frank Owen lost his seat but the other four returned to Parliament, where they rejected attempts to reunify all the Liberals under a single whip and consistently opposed the National Government.

In 1933 the official Liberals withdrew completely from supporting the National Government, but the two anti-government Liberal groups did not reunify until after the 1935 UK General Election. However, in the House of Commons Lloyd George sat on the opposition Front Bench rather that with the rest of the Liberal party. This was a legacy of 1931 when there had been so few Labour MPs elected (indeed, only three former ministers had survived that debacle) - that the presence of Lloyd George there was welcomed. The former Prime Minister stayed there until 1945 when he was elevated to the House of Lords as Earl Lloyd George of Dwyfor but died before taking his seat in the Upper House.

ee also

*Contributions to liberal theory
*Liberalism worldwide
*List of liberal parties
*Liberal democracy
*Liberalism in the United Kingdom

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