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A short history of (alleged) political collusion with Moscow

Diary extracts, and letters, show that the fear of Russian influence is nothing new

By Ian Irvine   April 2018

Ramsay MacDonald

After the election of 1923, Labour formed its first ever government under Ramsay MacDonald, though with no majority in the Commons. In February 1924 it had recognised the USSR and was attempting to normalise relations between the two countries.

Four days before the election in October 1924—which Labour went on to lose—the Daily Mail published what became known as the Zinoviev Letter.

Apparently sent by Grigory Zinoviev, the head of the Communist International to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Great Britain, it read:

“A…

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