Party Conference Update, Tuesday 25th

I enjoyed yesterday; the atmosphere in the hall was really energised. The day was dominated by standing ovations – two for Kier Starmer; three for Emily Thornberry and three for Diane Abbott plus several during the Palestine debate, although perhaps the latter should be described as carnival. It was extraordinary to see a sea of flags waving as Harlow CLP moved the motion.

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I did want to speak in the Brexit debate (as did our colleague Charlie Rowley from York Central) but neither of us were picked. It was a good, calm and rational debate on both motions plus the Windrush motion, one that I scarcely recognised from the radio this morning – should I be surprised?

Mick spoke in his ‘reference back’ on Fracking and this was carried overwhelmingly at the end of the day. Mick and I have noticed that whilst Fracking doesn’t appear to be at the forefront of conference business this week there is nevertheless, a strong theme that climate change is right at the top of the party’s agenda. This was evidenced by Rebecca Long- Bailey’s speech yesterday and in a Policy Forum debate that I attended where Barry Gardiner re-iterated that the business and trade forum strongly recognised that the emphasis on Growth and GDP at the cost of sustainability was not a valid approach and he reminded us that he had introduced the Fracking ban.

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At the fringe events Keir Starmer gave his analysis of the reasons that the Brexit negotiations have been so ineffective. He observed that the Tories have approached it from an ideological perspective without first having assessed the needs of the British people or economy. He had worked on the Good Friday agreement and used that example to underline how the Tories had fundamentally failed to understand that the issue was not in any way a technology issue and that it was about Irish history and sensitivities.

Mick has proposed that the NEC convene a meeting of front line CLPs and we await an answer; as he said to the platform yesterday “it wasn’t a rhetorical question”. We have the view that Fracking is an issue for CLPs but not for affliates, especially Unions, but Mick was approached by a representative of Unite who specifically wanted him to know that Unite had supported the reference back.

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It’s the Jeremy’s speech today; I won’t be sitting on the floor in the dark on Thursday morning to write an update so please watch on TV, and I hope to be back on the floor next year. It’s been a really good experience – thanks for selecting me to be your representative.

To the Gazette and Herald

28thAugust 2019,

Sir,

On 29thMarch 2019, the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union, on terms as yet not negotiated and with several questions such as the Irish border, the status of UK citizens resident in the EU and our membership of many European institutions still unclear.

The referendum was called in 2016 by the ruling Conservative Party in an attempt to stave off the challenge of UKIP and to unite a Tory Party divided by the question of our membership of the EU. The result of the referendum was narrow but clear. We are leaving the EU. The Labour Party has accepted the result of the referendum but has set out a programme designed to mitigate against the worst excesses of our departure.

But where is the voice of Kevin Hollinrake, the Member of Parliament for the Thirsk and Malton Constituency? Throughout the last General Election campaign he sat on the fence. It is imperative that he now uses the platform offered by this column so that we, his electorate, know where he stands on the major issues of Brexit and can hold him to account. Does he support Brexit or does he support a second referendum or no deal at all with the EU? We look forward to hearing his views.

Alan Avery

Press OfficerLabourAveryRose.png
Thirsk & Malton Constituency Labour Party
Tel 01751 474043
avery_uk@yahoo.com

 

European Parliament

The Labour Members of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber until we leave the European Union in 2019 are Richard Corbett, who is Leader of the Labour Group of MEPs,  and Linda McAvan. They were elected in 2014 and have been very busy working in the EU on our behalf. You can find out a lot about what they have been doing on their websites.

Linda Mcavan MEP
Richard Corbett MEP

Richard has created an app “Doorstep EU” to assist in debunking Brexit propaganda with:

  • Instant analysis of news headlines
  • Straight answers to common questions
  • Evidence-based tabloid myth rebuttals
  • Detailed statistics about the EU’s impact on the UK

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 09.35.36.png Doorstep EU, Android Download
Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 09.35.36.png Doorstep EU, iPhone Download

The European Parliamentary Labour Party website is here at Euro Labour

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The other MEPs elected for Yorkshire and the Humber in 2014 were

  • Timothy Kirkhope (Con)
  • Amjad Bashir (UKIP) –  defected to Tories Jan 2015
  • Jane Collins (UKIP)
  • Mike Hookem (UKIP)

Gordon Brown warns of Brexit ‘paralysis’

Britain could be “paralysed” for years because Westminster parties have not “woken up” to the causes of Brexit, ex-prime minister Gordon Brown says.

He said the country risked getting “trapped” in Brexit “small print”.

The former Labour PM told the BBC politicians also needed to focus on low wages, migration and the NHS.

He declined to criticise Jeremy Corbyn personally – saying the current Labour leader was a “phenomenon” who engaged young people in a way he couldn’t.

Mr Brown was the UK’s prime minister between 2007 and 2010 and backed Remain in the EU referendum.

‘Failure to act’

Speaking to BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, he said Parliament had not yet grasped the “drivers of the dissatisfaction” that led to the 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

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Unless these “root causes” were addressed, he said: “We will not be able to unite as a nation and we face a future where we are paralysed into inaction by our failure to get our act together and move on.”

He listed stagnant wages, “left-out communities”, migration, sovereignty and the NHS as issues that needed to be addressed alongside the finer points of Brexit, describing the referendum result as a “huge political earthquake”.

Appealing to the “Westminster leaderships”, he added: “We’re not addressing these problems, we’ve got to address them now.”

He was also asked about the sale by the government of another tranche of shares in Royal Bank of Scotland.

Mr Brown, who was prime minister when the bank was bailed out, said there was “no excuse” for selling the shares at under their potential value.

He also warned that “there are still real risks in the financial system”.

See BBC Interview