Co-operative Party

The Co-operative Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom supporting co-operative values and principles. Established in 1917, the Co-operative Party was founded by co-operative societies to campaign politically for the fairer treatment of co-operative enterprise and to elect 'co-operators' to Parliament. The party's roots lie in the Parliamentary Committee of the Co-operative Union established in 1881.

The Co-operative Party
ChairpersonJim McMahon
General SecretaryJoe Fortune
Founded17 October 1917 (1917-10-17)
Headquarters83 Crampton Street
London SE17 3BQ
Youth wingCo-operative Party Youth
Membership (2020) 12,067[1]
Social democracy
British unionism[2][3]
Political positionCentre-left
National affiliationLabour and Co-operative
House of Commons[5]
25 / 650
House of Lords[5]
16 / 788
Scottish Parliament[5]
11 / 129
16 / 60
Local Government[5]
938 / 19,698
London Assembly
11 / 25
Police & Crime Commissioners[5]
7 / 40
Directly elected mayors[5]
9 / 25

Since 1927, the Co-operative Party has had an electoral pact with the Labour Party, with both parties agreeing not to stand candidates against each other. Instead, candidates selected by members of both parties contest elections using the description of Labour and Co-operative Party.[6] The Co-operative Party is a legally separate entity from the Labour Party, and is registered as a political party with the Electoral Commission.[7] Co-operative Party members are not permitted to be members of any other political party in the UK apart from the Labour Party or Northern Ireland's Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

The Co-operative Party is de-facto the fourth-largest party in the House of Commons with 25 Members of Parliament, although as all of its MPs sit in the Parliamentary Labour Party, this distinction is seldom made. It also has representatives in the House of Lords, the Scottish Parliament, the Senedd, the London Assembly and local government.

In keeping with its co-operative values and principles, the Co-operative Party does not have a leader. Instead Joe Fortune serves as General Secretary, Preet Kaur Gill serves as Chair of the Co-operative Party Parliamentary Group, and Jim McMahon as Chair of the Co-operative Party National Executive Committee.