LRC members can now download their election booklets from the website and I am glad to see there will be healthy competition for the National Committee and some officer posts.
As some of you will be aware I am standing for LRC Vice-Chair. You can also read my supporting statement on-line but there is only so much one can say in 100 words .
Those attending and voting at the AGM might find more information helpful. So here it is. Firstly, thanks for the nominations received, which include Socialist Youth Network, Greater London LRC and West Yorkshire LRC.
I have been a Labour Party member for over 30 years and an NUJ activist for 24 years. I have held many officer positions within the Party, and am currently Branch Secretary of my local Party and a member of the Calder Valley constituency executive.
For the past five years I have served as a Town Councillor , and am currently Hebden Royd Council Chair and Town Mayor. I have also stood as a candidate for the Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council and am Chair of the Calderdale NUJ.
In recent years I have actively campaigned on a national basis for the Labour Left. Until last year I was a National Committee member of Save The Labour Party and support the Grassroots Umbrella network, which brings together all left groups within the Party at Conference. I have also been an active supporter of the Campaign For Labour Party Democracy . In May, I was elected to the Editorial Board of Labour Briefing and I am a regular contributor.
Last year I organised a successful launch conference in Hebden Bridge which was a springboard for all the regional LRCs and I have just been re-elected Secretary of the West Yorkshire LRC, which is now one of the biggest regional groups in the country. But the plain fact is that much more needs to be done to build the LRC into a truly national organisation.
One of the key tasks when the LRC was founded was to try and re-claim the Labour Party for socialist values. That is still a task which I regard as absolutely fundamental. As I have said many times on this blog, I do not believe anything can be achieved by leaving the Party other than political oblivion.
But I also strongly believe we must build bridges with those who stay outside the Party for reasons of disaffection and disillusion. That's why I got involved in the Convention Of The Left - a very loose coalition of socialists who managed to forget faction-fighting and organise a tremendously successful event in Manchester to counter the official Labour Conference.
What divides left activists inside and outside Labour ? The truth is very very little. We can stand shoulder to shoulder with them on issues ranging from the economy, trade union rights, climate change , and peace . That work must go on.
We need an active Vice-Chair who puts in the work required over the next 12 months to build the LRC and raise its profile . If elected, I promise to do that. Within the Labour Party but also outside it in the wider labour movement.