Barbados Labour Party

Published 1st February, 2013

The Barbados Labour Party (formerly the Barbados Progressive League) was founded on 31 March 1938 at the home of James Martineau, when Chrissie Brathwaite was elected Chairman and Grantley Adams, Vice Chairman. Sir Grantley, as he became, went on to lead the party for the next three decades. The party was borne out of the unrest of 1937 and its aims included adult suffrage, free education and improved health care and housing. The BLP is a Centrist Social-Democratic party.

In 1951 the BLP won fifteen of the seventeen seats it contested and in 1954 Grantley Adams became the first Premier of Barbados. In 1958 The Barbados Labour Party won four of the five seats in the House of Representatives in the Federal Parliament and Sir Grantley went on to become Prime Minister of the West Indies Federation.

In 1994 Owen Arthur became the Prime Minister when the BLP won the election and the party increased its representation in subsequent elections until it lost power in 2008, receiving only ten seats. As a result Owen Arthur stood down and was replaced as Leader of the Opposition by Mia Mottley.

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