LABOUR ORGANISING ACADEMY

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LABOUR ORGANISING ACADEMY
Organising our Communities
Transforming Britain

An organising taskforce with roots in every corner of the country to develop the party’s membership and transform how Labour campaigns.  Labour was founded as a party of the majority, and must engage the majority with our values, and our commitment to building a fairer Britain.

The vast expansion in Labour membership since September 2015 requires a re-assessment of our campaigning strategy and tactics before the next general election.   Our new members and the skills, connections, energy and contributions they bring enable us to pursue new forms of political organising, and build on existing work.  From the National Council of Labour Colleges in the interwar years, to the community organising efforts of Movement for Change and David Miliband, our party has a rich history of transformative initiatives to empower people.

Our current approach needs renewal.   Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign is announcing plans to transform Labour’s campaigning culture with an Organising Innovation Taskforce to incubate ideas and gather expertise.   The project will enable Labour’s membership to apply our values and become a dynamic, meaningful, campaigning presence in every community in Britain.   It will relentlessly focus on winning elections and the battle of ideas, underpinned by engaging people directly to win hearts and minds to an agenda of hope.

We are committing to:

■ Convene an Organising Innovation Task Force, bringing together experts in organising and campaigning from across the Labour movement to develop a strategy to hone the skills and campaigning abilities of Labour members.   The Organising Innovation Taskforce will gather expertise from successful progressive campaigns and organisations at home and across the world.   It will build on work developed under previous Labour leaderships on community organising and the modernisation of Labour’s campaigning techniques.   And it will lead on the establishment of Labour Organising Academies.

■ The establishment of Labour Organising Academies across the country, which will employ education and training staff, and work with existing educational institutions alongside experts and successful campaigns, to deliver organising skills and training underpinned by Labour values to tens of thousands of members as we prepare for the next General Election.

■ The enrolment of party members who wish to gain new skills and commit to transforming their own community, into modern organising and campaigning training.  The ambition would be to offer opportunities for further accredited specialist courses, from digital organising, campaign-coding, digital days, community listening campaigns, long-term community organising, and refreshing voter-ID operations to properly engage voters on the doorstep.   Alongside – crucially – expanding the capacity of the new organising Academies by recruiting new trainers from within the membership, who in turn can train people in their communities growing our movement.

■ A significant targeted campaign fund and additional organising focus on post-industrial communities, including but not exclusive to areas that face a significant threat from UKIP.   This would be a long term commitment, focussed on rebuilding trust in and support for Labour amongst voters living in post-industrial communities.

The programme will be developed in detail after the leadership election, but these aims will form the basis of a strategy that gives members the confidence to speak to friends, colleagues, families and communities, and engage them with a Labour vision of how society can be run.   Labour is now large enough, and financially healthy enough, to consider embarking on such a project.   Our growing resources will be deployed to demonstrate that local campaigning can bring meaningful change, and give power back to those that feel powerless.
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In its initial stage, each Labour Organising Academy would be tasked with providing:

Organising training

This is to ensure members are equipped to run a successful field campaign, whether at an election or on an important issue, whether on the doorstep or by phone, and can deliver persuasive strategies that engage people, high quality materials, and ensure volunteers are provided with a supportive and useful infrastructure that can allow them to contribute their best to Labour’s work in our communities.

The training will support members to listen to, engage with and persuade people, and give members the confidence to get involved in grassroots Labour activities, contact and recruit new members and organise community campaigns on local issues.   It will also assist members in being a source of information and expertise in order to help us formulate strategy, policy and narratives on local, regional and national scales.

Through this work our party can be a real presence in local community life and convince those who have been left behind that they do have the power to transform society.

Further opportunities for member development, including accredited courses in:

Media and communications training; to assist members in feeling confident with taking part in interviews, writing campaign materials and acting as spokespeople for Labour

Social, digital and new media training; to recruit and develop a new generation of digital campaigners that can power high quality social media output, and use new and emerging technologies to serious effect, acting as an Academy that can deliver the most modern and effective election campaign ever.

Policy and politics training; to ensure members understand how local, regional and Westminster government works, a background to our movement and its aims, how Labour’s structures, committees and candidate selection processes work, and how to understand, develop and contribute to Labour’s policies.

■ Training members to deliver all of the above to new members.

The new programme will:

■ Bring together existing best practice by collating the work current education, leadership and candidate training programmes, to ensure what is already working gets the support it needs.

■ Commit to an all-member review of existing election campaign tactics, to gather a database of opinion and experience on how we can improve, and support our campaigners.

■ Examine the potential for campaign conferences that promote skill-sharing and equip a new generation of Labour activists with the skills to plan and run our elections on the ground.

■ Work with education institutions and education departments in the labour movement to offer a series of courses, delivered locally or online, available to Labour members that allow members to gain professional qualifications while learning new campaigning and organising skills.

■ Ensure maximum opportunities for women and BAME members and other harder to reach constituencies to benefit from the programmes.

Jeremy Corbyn said:

“Labour is now Europe’s biggest political party.  That is a part of change in progressive politics around the world and that must lead to organisational and campaigning change.  This plan puts the party’s more than half-a-million members at the front of our strategy to win the next general election.  It represents the single biggest commitment by any political party in British history to aid in the learning and training of its members.  Under my leadership, our membership will become an even-more active force for good in every single community, ensuring that Labour mounts the most successful electoral campaigns imaginable.  The size of our membership means that the Labour party will be a visible presence in every neighbourhood, urban or rural, in every part of our country, not just at election times but all the time. Our members work tirelessly to build a decent society, and will benefit immensely from proper investment and support for their work. We’re committing to a bold, modern and brand-new strategy for developing Labour membership with campaign strategy skills, digital, new media and creative expertise, a thorough understanding of how the political process works, and professional communications training so we can build the most visible and dynamic general election campaign ever.  Our Taskforce and academies will develop the confidence and campaign skills of tens of thousands of members.  Our party’s membership will transform how Labour campaigns, so we can win the next general election and rebuild and transform Britain so that no-one, and no community, is left behind.”

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Keep Corbyn GIG Sat 17th Sept 7pm The Packhorse Leeds

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KeepCorbyn Gig w/ NARCS + More at The Pack Horse

Tickets: £5 waged // £2 unwaged

TICKETS ON SALE HERE..http://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Leeds/The-Packhorse/KeepCorbyn-Gig-w-NARCS–More/12821458/

One year ago Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Labour leader with the largest democratic mandate of any political leader in British history. He has stood by us all when we needed him the most, now we must stand by him when he needs us most

He has stood up to the establishment over the past year as they have thrown their full weight at him. Now come and show your solidarity with him at a crucial time in British, and worldwide politics. This is about more than one man, it is about a movement

Hosted by bloc – we have brought together an excellent line up of bands and speakers, including:

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NARCS [Clue Records]

Humble Scoundrel

Cabinet Of Millionaires

The Iain Duncan Smiths (Also performing as ‘The Owen Smiths’)

Greg Oldfield
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Leeds CND
Leeds Stand Up To Racism
Joe Riches (Regional Organiser of Jeremy Corbyn’s Campaign for Yorkshire and Humberside)
Councillor Susan Press
Tanis Belsham-Wray – CWU & TUC
Matt Abbott Poet (TBC)
We Are Wakefield
Simon Widdop Poet

+ More TBA
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Tickets: £5 waged // £2 unwaged

TICKETS: http://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Leeds/The-Packhorse/KeepCorbyn-Gig-w-NARCS–More/12821458/

Petition: Constituency Boundaries. I stand with Labour and demand the Government rethinks to ensure that no voter is left out

The Tories claimed they wanted to review constituency boundaries to make our democracy fairer — but they’ve used old data, and ignored two million newly registered voters.

Now, they’re spending time and taxpayers’ money on an unfair, undemocratic constituency review, rather than taking everyone into account.

Sign now to call on Theresa May to rethink this review and ensure every voter will get their fair say:

Sign and share the petition >>

They claimed they want to ‘cut the cost of politics’ by cutting 50 elected MPs, but anything they will save is dwarfed by the £34 million they’ve spent appointing 260 new unelected members of the House of Lords. This isn’t about what’s best for our country, it’s about what’s best for the Tories.

Join me and sign our petition now: I stand with Labour and demand the Government rethinks to ensure that no voter is left out. 

Thank you for signing.

Jonathan Ashworth MP
Shadow Minister without Portfolio

A Labour government, under my leadership, will deliver an energy policy for the 60 million, not the Big 6 energy companies, championing community-owned renewable energy. Jeremy Corbyn

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Environment & Energy

Action to Secure Our Environment

We will act to protect the future of our planet, with social justice at the heart of our environment policies, and take our fair share of action to meet the Paris climate agreement – starting by getting on track with our Climate Change Act goals.   We will accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, and drive the expansion of the green industries and jobs of the future, using our National Investment Bank to invest in public and community-owned renewable energy.   We will deliver clean energy and curb energy bill rises for households; an energy policy for the 60 million, not the Big 6 energy companies.   We will defend and extend the environmental protections gained from the EU.

Executive Summary

Britain will lead the world in action on climate change. Over 300,000 renewable energy jobs to make Britain a world-leading renewables producer. Clean air, democratic power, 64m trees planted.

■ We will set a UK target of 65% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, dramatically decarbonizing our energy system and aim towards zero-carbon electricity production

■ Comprehensive industrial strategy and long-term investment from government to deliver over 300,000 new, high-quality jobs in renewables1

■ Britain will aim to be the world’s leading producer of renewables technology, claiming its share of estimate $630bn market by 2030

■ Low-carbon housebuilding programme to create jobs, tackle the housing crisis and reduce bills

■ Give power back to local authorities and communities to challenge monopoly producers

■ Cleaner air in our cities and 64m new trees planted

  1. Lead Action on Climate Change

In 2015 the world came together to agree the landmark Paris Climate Agreement aimed at keeping global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.  Instead of accelerating action to tackle climate change, the Conservative Government have introduced new tax breaks for oil and gas that will cost the UK taxpayer billions, cut support for renewables and for energy efficiency, and are going ‘all out’ for fracking.  Yet we are facing a climate crisis. 2016 is set to be the hottest year on record and greenhouse gas emissions globally are still not falling.  We are seeing the impacts of climate change much earlier than anyone predicted – around the world and at home.  The Labour Party must stand for a different Britain – one that would play a leading role internationally and committed to cutting carbon emissions at home.
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My Labour government will:

■ Ensure the UK leads on climate change: honouring the Paris Climate Agreement – starting by getting back on track to meet our Climate Change Act commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions; and using our international influence to champion the global shift to a low-carbon future

■ Mobilise schools and communities to help plant and care for 64 million native broadleaf trees in 10 years – storing carbon dioxide, reducing flood risk, providing homes for wildlife, absorbing air pollution, and helping to make our towns and cities beautiful places to live and work

■ We will reinstate the Department of Energy and Climate Change within the first month of a Corbyn-led Government.

  1. Build a World-Class Green Economy

Britain risks being left behind in the world’s fast-growing low-carbon market. We will accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, renewable economy, and drive the expansion of the green industries and jobs of the future, using our National Investment Bank to invest in public and community-owned renewable energy.   We will put modern low-carbon industries at the heart of our £500 billion investment strategy.   We will restore business confidence through coherent, consistent policy that champions the innovators and puts Britain, our cities, our devolved governments and communities at the forefront of this new industrial revolution.   This is the Britain I want to build: a future that is cutting-edge, inclusive and sustainable.
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My Labour government will:

Invest in modern Britain with the new National Investment Bank and regional development banks:

Drive investment into strategic low-carbon industries and research and development to transform our economy’s efficiency, push down technology costs and create high quality jobs across the country

■ Implement a comprehensive industrial strategy to deliver a new, green industrial revolution

■ Fund decarbonisation strategies for energy-intensive industry such as steel, chemicals, ceramics and paper to protect competitiveness and jobs in the transition to a low carbon economy

■ Support mayors and councils as important leaders and drivers of the shift to a new low carbon economy.

Re-skill Britain:

■ Introduce new college programmes and quality apprenticeships to ensure people from every community – including women and BAME people – can win the high-skilled jobs of the low-carbon future

■ Engage with workers and trade unions to ensure that workforces affected by declining fossil fuel industries, such as coal and North Sea oil and gas, are supported into decent sustainable employment, with local economies diversified and local communities supported.
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Protect people and communities:

■ Stop the planning system being rigged in the interests of developers against communities

■ Defend access to justice when governments make unlawful decisions over environmental issues such as fracking and air pollution.

  1. Run our Economy on Clean Energy

Our broken energy system is holding Britain back.  Starved of investment by the big 6 energy companies, our electricity system is expensive, inefficient and polluting and in urgent need of renewal to keep the lights on.   Yet we have enough wind, wave and sun potential not only to power our economy, but to export.   Scotland recently met more than 100% of its electricity needs with renewable energy alone.  A nation of draughty homes has left seven million households seriously struggling to pay their energy bills and yet we have the skills, technology and people needing quality jobs to fix them.   12 29,000 people die early every year from air pollution primarily caused by burning dirty fossil fuels.   We will deliver clean energy, affordable heating and electricity – energy for the 60 million, not the big 6 energy companies.

My Labour government will:

Let local communities take back control of their power:

■ Promote the growth of over 200 ‘local energy companies’ within the next parliament; giving towns, cities and localities the powers they need to drive a UK clean energy revolution; and making public, not-for-profit companies and co-ops the centrepiece of a new energy economics.

■ Support the development of 1,000 community energy co-operatives, with rights to sell energy directly to the localities they serve, with regional development bank assistance for grid connection costs.  We will introduce a ‘right to supply’.

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My Labour government will:

Cut energy waste and costs, easing the pressure on household budgets and our environment:

■ Ensure everyone has access to a decent home that is affordable to keep warm and uses energy efficiently

■ Make building insulation a national infrastructure priority.  We will launch a publicly funded National Home Insulation programme that would see at least 4 million homes insulated to energy efficiency standard B or C in the first term of a Labour Government – creating tens of thousands of jobs across every community, reducing the need for expensive new energy generation, and helping millions of people to save money on their bills13

■ Build 1 million new homes – including half a million council houses – to ‘passive-haus’ or energy-plus standards

■ End the misery of cold rented accommodation.  We will set a minimum ‘B and C’ energy efficiency standard for all rented housing by the end of the first parliament

■ Protect people from fuel poverty through support with energy efficiency measures and with fuel bills for the most vulnerable in our society.

Drive the low-carbon transition, future-proofing our society:

■ Repower Britain: A low zero carbon electricity system by 2030, in line with advice from the independent Committee on Climate Change, with 65% renewable electricity, aiming for 85% as technology improves and diffuses

■ Create over 300,000 renewable energy jobs throughout the supply chain, boosting exports and making the UK a world-leading renewable energy producer

■ Put cities, councils, devolved governments and communities at the heart of an efficient decentralised energy system

■ Use our National Investment Bank and network of regional development banks to drive investment into public and community-owned renewable energy and a modern smart grid to ensure a balance between supply and demand

■ Ensure clean storage and backup: Invest to make Britain a world leader in new clean energy storage technologies and introduce a new ‘Clean Power Mechanism’ to replace the current expensive polluting Capacity Market

■ Allow local authorities to set annual renewables deployment targets, embedding clean energy into the core of how we think about the built environment

■ Place a duty on DNO’s (energy Distribution Network Operators) to deliver an annual 10% reduction in their carbon footprint; giving them an expanded remit which allows them to act as energy service providers and as co-investors in demand management, energy saving and energy storage schemes

■ Clean up our transport system: Halve air pollution deaths by 2030 by promoting a shift to electric and hydrogen buses and cars; a network of low-emission zones; and to cycling with safe cycle lanes and hire schemes in every town and city

■ Increase energy Research and Development spending, reversing its long-term decline

■ Commit to the further development and deployment of tidal power.

End polluting energy, delivering a clean future for all:

■ Take action now to keep fossil fuels in the ground, set a target date to end new fossil fuel extraction and end dirty energy handouts.  80% of known fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground if we are to keep global temperatures safe

■ Phase out coal power stations by the early 2020s with support for workers into alternative, decent employment

■ Ban fracking – further extraction of hard-to-reach fossil fuels is not compatible with our climate commitments and will cost the country heavily in the long-term.

  1. Defend and Extend Environmental Protections Gained from the EU, and Protect Nature

Everybody should have the right to live in a healthy environment and have access to nature and wild spaces.  But nature is in trouble.  The Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the last 40 years. 80% of environmental protections that people and nature rely on – from keeping our beaches clean to setting air pollution standards, and protecting National Parks such as Snowdonia, Dartmoor and Flamborough Head – come from the EU.  Conservative Ministers have made clear that they see these protections as red tape to be torn away in a race to the bottom on pollution.

My Labour government will:

■ Fully implement EU environmental protections, including the Birds and Habitats Directives, and air pollution standards, and refuse to agree to any Brexit deal that reduces environmental standards.

■ Introduce a long-term plan to stop the loss and begin the recovery of nature including:

■ Strengthening environmental protections in farming and fishing: supporting farmers, landowners and fishing communities to deliver environmental benefits alongside thriving, sustainable businesses.

■ Creating corridors of nature to better connect protected nature sites, providing pathways for wildlife such as bats and butterflies.

■ Banning the use of neonicotinoid pesticides which harm pollinating insects including bees and encourage bee-friendly plants in our parks, urban spaces and countryside.

■ Use a precautionary principle to protect the environment and people from harm – not a payto-pollute approach allowing the richest corporations and individuals to wreck our planet.

Read full Version
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LOBBY LEEDS CITY COUNCIL TO SUPPORT THE CONSENT MOTION

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Wednesday 14th Sept 1.00 Outside Leeds City Council

At 1pm on the 14th of September activists will be taking a motion to Leeds City Council to change the licensing laws in bars and clubs in central Leeds so that they must clearly display consent education posters and that staff must be consent trained – so that there is a member of staff on site to appropriately deal with sexual assault and harassment complaints aka punishing the person who has assaulted not the person who has been assaulted.

We no longer want shrugging shoulders when we tell bouncers that we have been groped.

This is part of a wider campaign that socialist student members at the Beckett and other feminist activists have been working on to get consent workshops at the Beckett university and to get a women’s peer support group that will help victims and survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

But if we are going to try to lower the number of sexual assault and provide good support for victims then the campaign needs to stem wider into Leeds and so this is the next step.

Please come a long and show your support – show the need for such measures as well as making the point that this, whilst it would be progressive, is just as small step to getting the treatment and support that women and non binary people need.

Hopefully we will have local press present as well.

This is political.   Keep it political.

Lobby Leeds City Council to Support the Consent Motion

Emily Thornberry: Why I’m sticking with Jeremy Corbyn

Emily Thornberry

Emily Thornberry is MP for Islington South & Finsbury and Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Since returning from holiday, I have been catching up with many of your messages asking me how I am planning to vote in the current Labour leadership election, and giving me your views.

I thought I should write to the membership of Islington South and Finsbury and explain my thinking.

As many of you know, it is my view that our response to the Brexit vote should not have been to turn in on ourselves. At a time of grave constitutional and economic challenge for our country, it was incumbent on us to rise to this threat and ensure that the Labour party should defend the interests of our communities and not allow the Tories a free hand.

I believed that this was a time for people to unite and think of the country, not to turn inwards and indulge in a coup attempt against a leader elected with an overwhelming mandate less than a year ago.

It will therefore come as no surprise to my local party to learn that, having remained totally loyal to the democratically-elected leader of our party since his election, I will stay loyal to Jeremy during the contest that has arisen from that coup, and he will have my vote in this election.

I have not agreed with everything Jeremy has said and done since becoming the Labour leader last year, but where I have had disagreements with him, I have always found him and his team willing to get around a table, listen, reflect and discuss a way forward. And as long as that is possible, I would never consider walking away from that table.

But for those members who may disagree with that decision, and the way I will be voting in this election, let me explain my more fundamental reasons for doing so.

When I first started campaigning to become your MP in 2004, we were suffering as a party because our hierarchy and leadership were totally detached from the party’s membership. This not only meant that members across the country felt alienated, demoralised and ignored, but more importantly their collective understanding of what people’s fears and aspirations were, learnt from listening to the public and knocking on doors, was being deliberately overlooked.
I Believe in People

What had begun as the necessary modernisation of the Labour party in 1994, showing how a belief in a dynamic market economy could be combined with the drive for social justice and the transformation of public services, had become distorted into an agenda where the test of every new policy from the leadership was how much it would antagonise the Labour party’s core membership.

Tuition fees, the attempt to marketise the NHS, the careless disregard of long cherished civil liberties and the drive to war in Iraq were being imposed by a leadership who convinced themselves that, if the members hated it, they were doing something right.

When I walked through the voting lobbies against the attempt to impose 90 days’ detention without charge in 2005, Tom Watson –then one of Tony Blair’s whips – growled at me that I was a ‘traitor’. But a traitor to who?

Not to the country, when this was a draconian measure designed to look tough on terrorism, but one that would undermine the cohesion of communities like ours, alienate people and actually undermine our security. My members knew this and I remember when Compass polled party members – at my instigation – it was clear this was the national view as well.
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So who exactly was I betraying? Just a party hierarchy and a party leadership who were trying to shore up their relationship with the right-wing press by ‘taking on’ their members, and trying to out-flank the Tories on security. When Jeremy stood for the leadership after the disaster of the 2015 election, the difference was palpable. Here finally was a candidate interested in listening to the party’s members, reflecting their views, and promising to represent them. As a result, hundreds of thousands more joined, including huge numbers who had left because of Iraq, tuition fees, and other issues.
Defend Jeremy Corbyn

Here we are now, less than a year after Jeremy’s overwhelming victory, and the party hierarchy – through decisions of the National Executive Committee – is attempting to overturn that result, quash Jeremy’s mandate, and put the party’s members back in their box. And they are doing so in the most naked way.

I was disgusted to see the attempts to try to stop Jeremy from getting on the ballot. And then, if that wasn’t bad enough, hundreds of thousands of fully paid-up Labour party members were excluded from taking part in the election, having been told the opposite when they joined. Third, your membership fees were spent on securing that decision through the courts. And then lastly, registered supporters, who had been told they could be involved in the Leadership election, were then told that they must increase their donation to £25 within two days to remain eligible for a vote.

Indeed, you should probably know that even to put on the social events we have held for local members in the last two months – occasions that have been really important to welcome in our new members – we have been forced to seek permission for each event from the party hierarchy.

In short, some people have done their level best to deny the party’s full membership a fair and equal vote in this contest, or even the chance to make their voices heard. Instead of welcoming the enthusiasm of our new members, instead of celebrating the strength of our mass membership, they have been behaving as if it is something to be afraid of.

As someone who spent nearly 30 years as a grass roots activist before becoming your MP, I cannot accept this.
Empowering People

But even more important, as someone who believes our party and our country are best served when our elected representatives and the party membership work together, I fundamentally disagree with this attempt to take us back to the years when our members were deliberately antagonised, alienated and ignored by the people who they helped to put in power.

Islington South and Finsbury Labour Party has a proud reputation for being one of the great campaigning local parties and our election results in the past 11 years have shown what can be done when the membership and its elected representatives work together with respect.

We now have the potential to replicate this success across the country, creating a national activist base that could be unlike anything else in modern British politics, taking our message into the street and onto the doorstep, and turning the activism of thousands into the support of millions.

I do not understand why anyone in the Labour party would want to turn their back on that membership, in the way that the party hierarchy have tried to do this summer.

Instead, it is time to unite as a party – the membership and the elected representatives alike – and together take our fight into the only contest that matters: getting this dreadful Tory government out of office, and punishing them for the mess into which they have plunged our country.
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That is what we should have spent our summer doing – uniting, facing outwards, taking on the Tories, and energising the public to our cause – and that is again why I regret so much the chaos and distraction that this attempted coup against Jeremy has caused.

So my plea to all members, and one I will make to my fellow MPs, is this: whatever the outcome of this leadership election, we should stop the internal division, unite as a party, and take the fight to the Tories together.

And I would like my local party to know that I will remain totally loyal to the leader of our party, whoever he shall be.

In the meantime, you all know that I have a very full in-tray with constituency business, and with representing the party on Brexit, foreign affairs, and – together with Clive Lewis – our future defence policies.

I will be concentrating on this vital work in the run up to 24 September, rather than this unnecessary and divisive leadership contest. And when that is over, I hope we can all start focusing on those bigger issues on which Britain needs an effective, united opposition.

I know that not everyone will agree with the conclusions I have reached, but I am completely confident that in Islington South and Finsbury, we will continue to debate this and other issues in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.
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