From the mid-1890s, British socialists tried to unite under one umbrella. Tom Mann, as Secretary of the Independent Labour Party, was at the centre of the negotiations and debates that took place between the ILP and the Social Democratic Federation. These moves, popular with the members, were scuppered by the leaderships, mainly that of the ILP.
Left unity was an inevitable question thrown up by the formation of the Independent Labour Party in 1893. Why were there separate organisations of socialists, asked the members. Shouldn’t the groups merge, fuse or federate?