Covid-19 may have cancelled this year’s local elections and Labour conference, but – subject to a final decision in June – this year’s national executive committee (NEC) elections are likely to still go ahead. They represent an important chance for party members to support candidates who will set the direction of the Labour Party in this parliament.
This will be the first all-out election for the NEC since last year’s election defeat and the election of a new leadership team in April. As such, it’s an important contest for all of us who care about our party’s future. That is why we have decided to stand for election to the NEC as Tribune members with the full support of the Labour Tribune group members of parliament.
The Tribune voice is an important strand in our party and one that we believe has broad support across the labour movement. For us, the Tribune message is clear: we are socialists of the Tribunite left.
Our group was re-inaugurated in the tradition of Tribune MPs like Aneurin Bevan, who founded the NHS. Ten years of austerity, the urgent need to tackle climate change with a just transition for our workers, compounded by the Covid-19 crisis, means that once again we need a radical reforming government to rise to the challenge of the biggest economic, environmental and social crisis since 1945.
Tribune believes that only by winning power nationally and locally – in partnership with our trades union colleagues and the wider labour movement – can we transform our country and ensure that the fruits of our common endeavour are used fairly and for the common good, both here and internationally. And if elected, that will be our goal.
In this election we stand on a programme to:
1) Support the Labour Party to plan for an effective winning campaign on Labour values for the forthcoming local, mayoral, police and crime commissioner, Scottish Parliament and Welsh Parliament elections in May 2021.
2) Strengthen party policy development, working with the leader, frontbench, MPs, councillors, members and trade unions on key issues prioritising a long-term Tribune response to the Covid-19 impact, public services and local democracy, green economy, security, housing and fair taxation.
3) Strengthen and develop the trade union and co-operative link to support the membership in achieving a Labour government.
As candidates, we believe that we would bring a wealth of experience to the NEC. All three of us come from campaigning trade union backgrounds. Theresa Griffin as a former city councillor, UNISON organiser, national policy forum member and Euro MP, winning against the BNP. Liz McInnes and Paula Sherriff as MPs who have won seats for Labour, Paula winning from the Tories and Liz winning a by-election against UKIP at its height.
But we also know the pain of that December election, when seats were lost to Tories across England and Wales and to the SNP In Scotland. As NEC members, we will need to use our experience to understand the reasons for those defeats, to listen to members and the electorate, and to rebuild for 2024.
As members who have worked in the NHS or represented its workforce, we know especially the challenges faced by the NHS now. As members who have worked for a green economy and a sustainable future, we understand that the recovery lies in investment, to create the clean, green quality jobs of the future. As members we continue to work extensively to promote young people in party structures.
We want to see a Labour government and Labour at all levels of influence. If the NEC election goes ahead, we would ask for your support. It’s important that the Tribune view is represented in the members’ section.
We hope to speak and listen to members in the coming weeks. We will arrange remote members’ meetings and we are happy to Zoom into CLP meetings if asked. These are challenging times, but we believe the core values of Tribune reflect the core values of our party – and we ask for your support.