The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom, and one of the two main British political parties along with the Conservative Party. The Labour Party was founded in 1900 and overtook the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929–1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after which it formed a majority government under Clement Attlee. Labour was also in government from 1964 to 1970 under Harold Wilson and from 1974 to 1979, first under Wilson and then James Callaghan.
The Labour Party was last in national government between 1997 and 2010 under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, beginning with a landslide majority of 179, reduced to 167 in 2001 and 66 in 2005. Having won 258 seats in the 2010 general election, the party currently forms the Official Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Labour has a minority government in the Welsh Assembly, is the main opposition party in the Scottish Parliament and has 13 MEPs in the European Parliament, sitting in the Socialists and Democrats group. The Labour Party is a full member of the Party of European Socialists and holds observer status in the Socialist International. The current leader of the party is Ed Miliband MP.
Alistair Darling (born 28 November 1953) is a British Labour Party politician who has been a Member of Parliament (MP) since 1987, currently for Edinburgh South West. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2007 to 2010. Darling was one of only three people to have served in the Cabinet continuously from Labour's victory in 1997 until its defeat in 2010 (the others being Gordon Brown and Jack Straw).
Darling was appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 1997, moving to become Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in 1998. Spending four years at the department, he spent another four years as Secretary of State for Transport, also becoming Secretary of State for Scotland in 2003. Prime Minister Tony Blair moved Darling for a final time, to Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in 2006, before Gordon Brown advanced Darling to Chancellor in 2007.