Revolutionary Communist Party (UK)

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The Revolutionary Communist Party was a British Trotskyist party. It was formed in 1944 by the merger of the Revolutionary Socialist League and the Workers' International League at the behest of the American-dominated International Secretariat of the Fourth International. The General Secretary was Jock Haston; other prominent members included Ted Grant, later the head of the Militant Tendency (a Trotskyist group within the Labour Party), and Gerry Healy, subsequently leader of the Workers' Revolutionary Party. T. Dan Smith was a member of both the WIL and RCP between 1942 and 1946.

Although tiny, with only a few hundred members, the party achieved some publicity as a right-wing bogey through its industrial activity. It was believed (incorrectly) to be fomenting strikes (though it did give support to strikes which had broken out), and it posed as a defender of workers rights at a time when the Stalinist Communist Party of Great Britain stood four-square behind the war effort (RCPers mocked the CPGB as 'His Majesty's Communist party'). In 1944, Haston and three other of its leaders were tried and gaoled for assisting an engineering apprentices' strike on Tyneside; the convictions were later overturned.

The RCP split in 1947 over the question of 'entryism' into the Labour Party. With the approval of the International Secretariat, Healy led a minority faction into the Labour Party where he established a covert Trotskyist organisation known as 'The Club'. Haston and Grant continued to run the RCP as an 'open' party; but the post-war economic revival, which confounded the apocalyptic predictions of Trotskyist orthodoxy, demoralised them and in 1949 the RCP was dissolved and its members entered the Labour Party as individuals. There they linked up with Healy in 'The Club'; but he used his control of that organisation to expel his former leadership rivals in the RCP.

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