|Leader||Mia Mottley MP|
|Founder||Sir Grantley Adams|
|Founded||31 March 1938|
|Headquarters||Grantley Adams House,|
111 Roebuck Street,
|Youth wing||League of Young Socialists|
|Colours||Red and Gold|
|House of Assembly|
The Barbados Labour Party (BLP), colloquially known as the "Bees", is a social democratic political party in Barbados established in 1938. Led by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, it is the governing party of Barbados and holds 29 of the 30 seats in the House of Assembly of Barbados. The BLP was elected to government on 25 May 2018 after a decade in opposition, with Mottley becoming the country's first female Prime Minister. The party originally won all of the seats in the House of Assembly, but Bishop Joseph Atherley, the MP for St. Michael West, became an independent MP (later founder and leader of the People's Party for Democracy and Development) and the Leader of the Opposition on 2 June 2018.
In common with Barbados' other major party, the Democratic Labour Party or the "Dems", the BLP has been broadly described as a centre-left social-democratic party, with local politics being largely personality-driven and responsive to contemporary issues and the state of the economy. However, the Party distinguishes itself by being rooted in Asquithian Liberal policies, including a focus on trade as a way of bolstering economic growth over the creation of social services.
Originally called the Barbados Progressive League until 1944, the party was founded on 31 March 1938 at the home of James Martineau. During the first meeting, Chrissie Brathwaite and Grantley Adams were elected as Chairman and Vice-Chairman. Adams had entered the House of Assembly in 1934 partly through his deconstruction of the labour-focused efforts of the Charles Duncan O'Neal's Democratic League, but this new party turned to organizing the political movement brought on by the unrest of 1937 that he had earlier opposed. As such, their objectives included many of the League's original goals, such as adult suffrage, free education, and better housing and health care.
The BLP first participated in general elections in 1940. In 1994, Owen Arthur became the Prime Minister as leader of the Barbados Labour Party. In the 2003 elections the BLP won 23 out of the 30 seats. The number increased to 24 in 2006, when in an almost unprecedented development the leader of the opposition, after a bitter and tumultuous internal battle within his own party, resigned the post and joined the governing party.
The Barbados Labour Party governed from 1994 to 2008, which was commonly called the "Owen Arthur Administration". Prime Minister Arthur was chosen from among leaders around the globe to deliver the William Wilberforce lecture on the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Atlantic Slave Trade Act.
The party lost power in the 2008 general election, winning 10 seats against 20 for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). After the election, Arthur stepped down as BLP leader and was replaced by former Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley in a leadership election against Attorney-General of Barbados, Dale Marshall (politician). Mottley also became Opposition Leader.
In the summer of 2008 Hamilton Lashley, MP for St. Michael South East, resigned from the party to become an Independent candidate in the House of Assembly. He was thereafter given a job by the DLP, the party he had belonged before crossing the floor to the BLP, as a consultant on poverty. This move by the member reduced to nine the number of seats the Barbados Labour Party had in the House.
|1951||Grantley Herbert Adams||53,321||54.5%||15||1st||Majority government|
|1961||Hugh Gordon Cummins||40,096||36.8%||11||2nd||Opposition|
|1966||Grantley Herbert Adams||47,610||32.6%||4||2nd||Opposition|
|1971||Harold Bernard St. John||39,376||42.4%||2||2nd||Opposition|
|1976||Tom Adams||51,948||52.7%||11||1st||Supermajority government|
|1986||Bernard St. John||54,367||40.4%||14||2nd||Opposition|
|1994||Owen Arthur||60,504||48.3%||9||1st||Majority government|
|2018||Mia Mottley||112,955||73.5%||16||1st||Won all seats|
|1958||WIFLP||Grantley Herbert Adams||72,054||57.8%||80.0%||1st||WIFLP|
The women's branch of the Barbados Labour Party is called the Women's League. The youth branch is called the League of Young Socialists.
The BLP uses several forms of Internet mediums to reach out to new and existing supporters. This includes: Google+, Facebook, and Twitter feeds. Many live meetings of the party are streamed live via UStream or YouTube.
A "Labour" political party is an amalgam of various trade unions and socialist groups, generally supporting the interests of organized labour and advocating democratic socialism and social equality, bringing together an alliance of social democratic, democratic socialist and trade unionist outlooks. Considered a left-of-centre political party formed to represent the interests of ordinary working people, in particular arising from the trade union movement at the end of the 19th century to replaced the Liberal, Democrat or Conservative political positions.