Your questions answered on Labour Together’s review of the 2019 Labour general election campaign

Shabana Mahmood

There has been a huge amount of interest in the Labour Together Review of the 2019 general election campaign since it was launched just before Christmas. Some of that interest is about Labour Together itself, what the organisation is and what work we’ve been doing since we were set up, and some of it about the ambitious task we’ve set ourselves, to analyse and investigate what has gone wrong for Labour over our four successive general election defeats since 2010. 

After the crushing general election defeat, we decided to come together and build bridges across our movement, so that we can come to a common understanding of what has gone so wrong for us over the last four elections, and how we can unite to win again. You can read about the launch of the review here on LabourList, along with some of our previous work on the economy, the world of work, and belonging. 

We thought it would be helpful to set out some of the frequently asked questions we’re hearing from across the Labour movement, so that we can assuage any concerns people may have, and encourage all members to take part in how we move forward together to plot a path back to power for the Party we all love.

1. What is Labour Together? 

Essentially, Labour Together is a group of committed Labour members, supporters and politicians who believe that “by the strength of our common endeavour, we achieve more than we achieve alone”. The answers to the deep and difficult questions facing our movement and our country won’t be found at a political podium but rather around tables.

Our aim is to create a space for people to have difficult but necessary political conversations face-to-face, in living rooms and around kitchen tables with people they might not ordinarily speak with. We need a space within the Labour movement for all of us to step forward, to be heard and to listen.

We work with Labour members and supporters of every tradition to build a new political culture which can prepare the country for the next century and to shape it for everyone. Here’s more about our philosophy, and our search for the common ground across our movement.

2. How can I contribute to the review? 

We’ve had 10,000 responses to our online survey collecting views from members across the Labour movement. Anyone can share their thoughts on what worked and what didn’t during Labour’s campaign. We’ve heard from members, Labour Party staff, trade unionists, local councillors, branch and CLP officers and many more.

Our survey contains open-ended questions, we don’t want to guide responses in one way or another. We want to hear from you in your own words. Have your say, and make sure your voice is heard.

We’ll also be speaking directly to MPs, former MPs and candidates – both in the seats where we did well in and also those we lost and need to win to form a majority at the next general election. If this is you, get in touch as we’re keen to hear from you.

3. Where does the funding come from for Labour Together? 

Labour Together is not a membership body or a faction, so we are funded by donations small and large from activists, trade unions and members who recognise our network needs to exist. Our funding is registered on the Electoral Commission’s website. 

4. Who has access to the data from the survey?

Labour Together is not supporting any particular leadership campaign, and the data from our survey is not and will not be shared with any campaign. Indeed, we’re not planning to launch our final report until after the Labour leadership ballot has closed because we don’t want our findings to influence the result in any way. The survey data is being held by a separate organisation who are administering the survey for us, and is not accessible to anyone other than the commissioners.

5. Is Labour Together for all Labour Party members?

We’re proud to work across factions and none to bring people together to give Labour a fighting chance for the future. We work with people from across our movement, bridging different groups so that we can learn from each other and build a common future.

Our commission has members from across the Labour family, and we are actively engaging with organisations like Momentum, Open Labour, the new Left, the Fabians, Progress, Labour First, local government, the unions and many others so that we can come to a collective view and understanding about how we can resolve the difficulties Labour faces, and build a better future together.

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