Iram Woolley: Why I’m standing to represent local parties on Labour’s NEC

I am standing for to be a local party representative on the Labour Party’s national executive committee (NEC) as a Muslim woman and school governor originally from Oxford, now living in London. Having lived in a socially deprived area, I see the struggles first hand. Talking to politicians, councillors, trade union affiliates and City Hall, what I found is a will to strategically pursue change despite facing many problems in need of solutions.

The true allyship shown by supporters and nominating Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) for my candidacy for the party’s governing body is testament to the solidarity we need to demonstrate to win the next general election. This objective must be at the forefront of all our decision making, and we must ensure our campaigning is focused on our lives, and those of our children, and our children’s children.

I am so blessed to have gained a skill set and experience from marching; writing letters; rallying to getting garden stakes; spearheading a by-election with an excellent result; and facilitating Black History Month in Unite Community. I have worked with councils and schools to clean up an alleyway with high levels of flytipping and graffiti, which is surrounded by overgrowths and used daily by parents carers and children in order to access their school. And it is in that community work that I have developed deep personal relationships to help make the community a better place for children, which makes my day wholly rewarding.

Solving social injustice is my goal. The world is experiencing inequality and racism. We can see from the report from Baroness Doreen Lawrence, investigating the impact of Covid on BAME communities, how important it is that we challenge this structural inequality. We need to look at how we can improve the lives of BAME women by tackling employment and childcare issues, for example.

I was really happy to hear deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner recently argue that politics needs more women to stand and take action, and see London mayor Sadiq Khan motivating women to stand. He has been very supportive of women taking leadership roles within the party.

I, like many others members of the Labour Party, truly want an end to this disastrous Tory rule. I acknowledge that to do this, we have to as a party reach out to the whole country. We will not win a general election by continually talking to ourselves. As a result, it was clear to me that I must stand for the NEC as an independent candidate, without a slate.

I will look to continue to support Keir Starmer and Angela, and to make sure that the party adopts policies that are true to our beliefs. These obviously will include, housing, education, homelessness, disabilities, and the NHS. We keep being told that we must all protect the NHS. Surely, the NHS should be there to support us? We need to as a party ensure that never again will we have to protect the NHS like we have in this Covid crisis – clearly, ten years of underfunding has resulted in the need for drastic action to be undertaken to protect our jewel in the crown. 

Having independent candidates like myself will show that a broad, diverse NEC can make better decisions and hold better debates. My passion is to secure confidence in the NEC, by making NEC reps closer and more accountable to the membership. Voting is the right we exercise to protect our families, friends, and neighbours and everyone in between. The Labour Party NEC is critical for dealing with racial injustice and the future of our democracy. Please Vote Iram Woolley as your number one preference. 

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