Socialist Equality Party (UK)

The Socialist Equality Party is a Trotskyist political party in Britain. It is one of several Socialist Equality Parties affiliated with the International Committee of the Fourth International. The ICFI publishes daily news articles, perspectives and commentaries on the World Socialist Web Site.

Socialist Equality Party
Founded1986; 35 years ago (1986), as Workers Revolutionary Party (Internationalist)
Split fromWorkers Revolutionary Party
Youth wingIYSSE
International affiliationICFI
Colors  Carmine
House of Commons
0 / 650
House of Lords
0 / 801
Local government[1]
0 / 19,687


The party's origins lie in the Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) until the majority of that party split from the ICFI in 1986. A group in the WRP supported the ICFI and left the WRP. Initially known as the Workers Revolutionary Party (Internationalist), they soon became the International Communist Party, based in Sheffield and led by David Hyland. The group stood in several elections before renaming themselves the Socialist Equality Party in 1996, in line with other sections of the international organisation.[2][3] Hyland died in 2013.[4]


The party's manifesto claims the necessity for the development of a new and genuinely socialist movement against a Conservative Party government. It calls for the unity of workers throughout Britain and internationally.

The manifesto states: "The fight against war is bound up with the struggle to put an end to the capitalist profit system by reorganizing economic life to meet the social interests of the vast majority of the world's population rather than the selfish interests of a parasitic elite."[5]

Recent Interventions

The SEP held a public meeting in Sheffield on 23 February 2011 to address the attempts to extradite Julian Assange. Robert Stevens spoke in defence of Assange, characterising the legal proceedings as "a manhunt".[6]

NHS Fightback was launched on 21 January 2013.[7]

The SEP held a series of meetings in October 2013 to oppose imperialist intervention in Syria and raise the danger of world war.[8]


The SEP ran candidates in the 2007 Scottish Parliament elections and the 2007 Welsh Assembly elections, but failed to gain any seats. The party ran a candidate, Chris Talbot, in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election who received 84 votes.[9] Two candidates stood in the 2010 general election, David O'Sullivan in Oxford East, who received 116 votes,[10] and Robert Skelton in Manchester Central, who received 54 votes.[11]

The SEP stood in the 2014 European Parliament election in the North West constituency.[12]

It urged a 'no' vote in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.[13]

The SEP stood two candidates in the 2015 general election,[14] and two candidates in the 2019 general election.


  1. "Local Council Political Compositions". Open Council Data UK. 8 July 2020. Archived from the original on 30 September 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  2. Peter Barberis et al, Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations, p.162
  3. Clement, Barrie (25 November 1996). "Socialists' new party strikes a left hook at Scargill". The Independent. London. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  4. [bare URL]
  5. "Election manifesto of the Socialist Equality Party of Britain". Archived from the original on 16 April 2013.
  6. Poulsen, Hanne. "Leading socialist writer supports Wikileaks case". JUS News. Department of Journalism, University of Sheffield. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  7. "Fightback needed to defend the UK's National Health Service". World Socialist Web Site. International Committee of the Fourth International. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  8. "UK workers and young people discuss Syria and the threat of war". World Socialist Web Site. International Committee of the Fourth International. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  9. "Haltemprice and Howden: Constituency Profile". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  10. "Oxford East Election History". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 24 March 2006. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  11. "Manchester Central: Constituency". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  12. "Socialist Equality Party stands in UK's North West constituency in European Elections". World Socialist Web Site. International Committee of the Fourth International. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  13. Socialist Equality Party (UK). "Vote "no" in the Scottish referendum—Fight for a socialist Britain". Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014.