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Class war

Labour was once the party of the unionised working class. What is it now?
It was in his conference speech in 1999 that Tony Blair declared "the class war is over".

Clearly, that message never got through to the troops on the ground in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election.

Labour campaigners portrayed the Conservative candidate as a rich Tory toff whose family made its fortunes from shoe making.

This did rather beg the question: to what extent could Labour still be said be a party of the working class?

The Labour Party's roots were in the unionised working classes of the late 19th century and for most of the 20th century, the Labour benches in the House of Commons contained a large number of MPs who were undoubtedly from working class backgrounds.

But to what extent is that still true?

Stephen Low has been talking to Labour MPs and to historians about the degree to which the Parliamentary Labour Party is still representative of the British working class.

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