J R MacDonald leaving for Germany, Liverpool Street, 26 July 1931.
© NMeM / Daily Herald Archive / Science & Society Picture Library
James Ramsay MacDonald (1866-1937, centre, with stick) was the first British Labour Prime Minister. In 1886 MacDonald moved to London where he studied for a science scholarship. As a result of a near-starvation diet his health declined and he was forced to abandon his academic career. MacDonald then developed his interest in politics and joined the Independent Labour Party in 1894. MacDonald and the Labour Party came to power after the 1923 General Election. Photograph by Harold Tomlin.