Labour has today launched a mentoring scheme to help women into senior political roles in honour of the late MP Jo Cox, ahead of the by-election in her constituency of Batley and Spen this Thursday.
The Jo Cox Women in Leadership Programme has opened applications for Labour members to help develop the skills of women in the party and encourage them to run for elected positions, including parliamentary selections.
The programme was announced at Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool last month, and the first cycle of it will run from this December until June next year, and will include training events in December, March and June.
The scheme, which will be run by Labour Women’s Network, is intended as a high level training experience, and successful applicants must demonstrate experience of organising campaigns, as well as knowledge of and commitment to the Labour Party. However, it is a free programme, and the party will cover any travel and accommodation costs.
Labour says the scheme will include “structured work with a pair of mentors who will mentor you through the course of the programme. Our mentors will be women who have a record in leadership, helping their communities and winning elections for the Labour Party.”
When the training was announced in September, Rachel Reeves told the BBC: “There were many causes that Jo was passionate about and one of them was about women in leadership and women in politics. She was the first chair of the Labour Women’s Network.
“My friend Alison McGovern, MP in the Wirral, describes being supported by Jo was like having one arm wrapped around your shoulder and the other one pushing you forward and that’s what Jo was like.
“She encouraged other women to go for parliamentary selections and put themselves forward.”