Gloria de Piero: Vote today to ensure members’ voices’ are heard at conference

7th September, 2017 9:00 am

At the election in June, members old and new, campaigned with enthusiasm on a manifesto of hope and change. We know the difference these members made, day in day out, banging the drum for Labour, reminding our Labour supporters to go out and vote and encouraging and persuading many in their communities to put their faith in Labour, some for the very first time.

Labour is the only party with a mass-membership in this country. Our members are rooted in their communities, and through their activism, week in week out, alongside elected Labour politicians and candidates, they hear the hopes and concerns of the people Labour seeks to represent up and down the country.

Members are at the heart of the movement that Jeremy Corbyn has built to bring real change to our country and to tackle inequality and poverty. They share their own stories to inform Labour policy at branch and constituency meetings across the country. They are a conduit to the public too.

That’s why it is only right that members get the biggest possible say on the conference floor. Our members deserve the chance to not only share their own stories, but to share the stories of the voters they have canvassed for Labour.

Showing voters that we are in touch with their concerns and debating and discussing the issues they have raised with members and representatives on the doorstep can only be a good thing. Labour is on the front foot, with Theresa May and the Tories on the ropes. Our conference is an opportunity for the public to see us focusing in on the issues of the day, whether that’s Brexit, the NHS crisis, public sector pay, cuts to police funding or housing in the wake of the terrible Grenfell Tower fire.

Let’s use this new found confidence to reach out to the public outside the conference hall. Let’s strengthen our members’ voices so they can share public concerns with us.

The conference arrangements committee is a vital forum to help us do this and ensure our members get the say they deserve when Labour is in the spotlight during our conference week. Michael Cashman and I are standing for re-election so we can safeguard members’ voices. With the ballot closing for the CAC election at lunchtime tomorrow, you still have a chance to have your say, vote for us, and ensure that Labour members get their voices heard.

Surely we can have a conference where we can show that every member of the Labour Party is a star from our committed fantastic activists, to our elected members who are using power in office to change and shape people’s lives.

Jeremy has changed PMQs by bringing in the public and our members, giving them a ringside seat in the House of Commons at prime time. Whether it was Claire and her tax credits; Marie and her concerns about affordable housing or Gail raising the issue of mental health, Jeremy ‘s style and refreshing new way of doing things has cut through with many voters.

Let’s show the public we value their voice at conference too by giving members the opportunity to share their stories of engaging with the public too.

Gloria de Piero is MP for Ashfield and is running alongside Lord Cashman for re-election to Labour’s conference arrangements committee.

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