United we stand, divided we fall is one of the oldest and truest slogans of the Labour movement.
After last week's referendum, our country faces major challenges. Risks to the economy and living standards are growing. The public is split.
The Government is in disarray. Ministers have made it clear they have no exit plan, but are determined to make working people pay with a new round of cuts and tax rises.
Labour has the responsibility to give a lead where the Government will not. We need to bring people together, hold the Government to account, oppose austerity and set out a path to exit that will protect jobs and incomes.
To do that we need to stand together. Since I was elected leader of our party nine months ago, we have repeatedly defeated the Government over its attacks on living standards. Last month, Labour become the largest party in the local elections. In Thursday's referendum, a narrow majority voted to leave, but two thirds of Labour supporters backed our call for a Remain vote.
I was elected leader of our party, for a new kind of politics, by 60% of Labour members and supporters. The need for that different approach now is greater than ever.
Our people need Labour Party members, trade unionists and MPs to unite. As leader it is my continued commitment to dedicate our party's activity to that goal.
Leader of the Labour Party
Open letter from the Green Party to Jeremy Corbyn :
"The result of the referendum still reverberates across the country. We are a nation divided, with anger being the currency of the day. We've seen a rise in racist attacks and xenophobia, and people up and down the country facing serious economic hardship. This while the pressing urgency of acting on climate change becomes more obvious by the day.
The time has come for progressives to unite and build a platform against right wing Brexiteers. We must work together to unify our divided communities and work towards electoral reform. It is our duty to our members, and the country as a whole, to stand together and fight for a just and sustainable future.
Caroline Lucas, Steven Agnew, Alice Hooker Stroud and I have reached out to Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron, and Leanne Wood in an open letter, proposing to forge a progressive alliance in the event of snap election.
The time for action is NOW.
Please see the full text of the letter, below.
Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
Open letter to: Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron, Leanne Wood on behalf of Green Party of England and Wales,
In a spirit of openness and transparency, we are writing to you as Leaders of parties which oppose Brexit, to invite you to a cross-party meeting to explore how we best rise to the challenge posed by last week’s vote to Leave the EU.
Britain is in crisis and people are scared about the future. Never have we had a greater need for calm leadership to be shown by politicians.
We have a UK Government in chaos, an economy facing a crisis and people up and down the country facing serious hardship. There is an urgent need to make a stand against any austerity and the slashing of environmental legislation, human and workers’ rights, that may come with Brexit.
With the growing likelihood of an early General Election, the importance of progressive parties working together to prevent the formation of a Tory-UKIP-DUP government that would seek to enact an ultra-right Brexit scenario is ever more pressing.
This is an opportunity to recognise that a more plural politics is in both the Left’s electoral and political interests. This crisis exposes the absurdity of our first past the post electoral system. Just 24 per cent of those eligible to vote elected the government that called the referendum. The only fair way to proceed is to have a proportional voting system where people can back the politicians who they believe in, rather than taking a gamble and not knowing who they will end up with.
The idea of a progressive alliance has been floated for several years, and proposals have once again been put forward in the context of the current crisis. We believe that the time has come to urgently consider such ideas together in the context of a Westminster Government. We recognise the very different political situation in Scotland, given the strongly pro-EU majority there. We hope that co-operation between progressive parties their can ensure that this mandate is respected, and we will support them to keep all options open.
We look forward to your response,
Natalie Bennett, Leader of The Green Party of England and Wales
Steven Agnew MLA, Leader of the Green Party of Northern Ireland
Alice Hooker-Stroud, Leader of Wales Green Party
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion"
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, said today at the launch of the Chakrabarti report, said: "The Labour Party is built on the values of solidarity, social justice, equality, internationalism and human rights. That is why I have devoted my life to it, and why nine months ago, I was honoured to be elected leader by over a quarter of a million people. That is, by the way, substantially more than the entire electorate that will have the right to pick the Conservative Prime Minister this Autumn.
“After the tumultuous events of the past week in Britain, including the vote in last week’s referendum to leave the European Union, the need for us to unite around these values, to practice what we preach, and be judged by the highest of standards, is perhaps as great as it has ever been.
“So although I asked Shami Chakrabarti to carry out her inquiry after some disturbing and damaging incidents earlier this year, I believe that its findings and recommendations are of even more importance for our party, country and wider world today.
“Whatever your views on the outcome of the referendum campaign – and two thirds of Labour supporters voted Remain – we need to reflect for a few moments on some of the hateful language used by some of the most prominent participants in it.
“Boris Johnson, current favourite to lead the Tory party, compared Hitler’s murderous tyranny with the European project created from its ashes and questioned Barack Obama’s motives because of his “part-Kenyan heritage”.
“That was no dog whistle. That was a fog horn - a classic racist trope – casting doubt on someone’s motivation because of their race.
“The Justice Secretary Michael Gove compared pro-Remain economists to Nazi collaborators, a startling example of the way in which the Nazi regime and the Holocaust can be minimized, trivialized or even forgotten by ill-judged comparisons.
“And Nigel Farage warned of mass sex attacks should the Remain Campaign win, calling it the “nuclear bomb” of the Brexit campaign. Is it only me who just doesn’t find him funny any more?
“These are hateful comments - no question. They are unworthy of the millions who voted to Leave, not out of xenophobia or racism, but often as a desperate response - yes to austerity, but also to years of being ignored and left behind by the Westminster elite.
“The people of Britain - and especially the young - need a strong, united, principled and kind Labour Party more than ever. They didn’t crash the banks, heat up the planet or start the wars of the past decade or so. But the risk is that they will have to work harder for longer, quite possibly for less pay, because of what the powerful have done in their name.
“Divide and rule is the oldest trick in the book - whether used by imperial powers abroad or hate-mongers at home. Turn people against each other. Use race or religion or anything else you can find and hope they will be too distracted or consumed to take on the great inequalities of wealth and power in the world.
“For over a hundred years, the Labour Party of Keir Hardie, Ellen Wilkinson and Manny Shinwell has existed to offer working people another way: solidarity instead of division, equality instead of injustice, inclusion instead of isolation, internationalism instead of narrow nationalism, and human rights for all.
“But we cannot do our duty, if we do not look at ourselves as well. Say what you like about me, but I’m no hypocrite. When I look in the mirror, it is less for sartorial elegance than to examine what’s in my own eye before pointing out the specks in others. I urge others in politics to do the same.
“This is why I asked Shami Chakrabarti and her colleagues to take on the vital work of looking into our own Party before we criticise others. That is what she and her team have done.
“And I’m here today to launch and recommend their work to our Party and to put my weight behind its immediate implementation.
“Under my leadership, the Labour Party will not allow hateful language or debate, in person, online or anywhere else. We will aim to set the gold standard, not just for anti-racism, but for a genuinely welcoming environment for all communities and for the right to disagreement as well.
“Racism is racism is racism. There is no hierarchy - no acceptable form of it. I have always fought it in all its forms and I always will. But while we respond to hate with universal principles we must also remember people’s particular experience, if we are too ensure that not one person feels vulnerable or excluded from their natural political home.
“The Jewish community has made an enormous contribution to our Party and our country – Jewish people have been at the heart of progressive and radical politics in Britain, as elsewhere, for well over a century.
“But they are also a minority amongst minorities and have had good cause to feel vulnerable and even threatened throughout history. This should never happen by accident or design in our Labour Party. Modern antisemitism may not always be about overt violence and persecution, though there is too much of that even to this day. We must also be vigilant against subtler and invidious manifestations of this nasty ancient hatred and avoid slipping into its traps by accident or intent.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I do not believe in name calling and I never have. “Zio” is a vile epithet that follows in a long line of earlier such terms that have no place in our Party. Nor should anyone indulge in the kind of stereotyping that can cause such hurt and harm.
“To assume that a Jewish friend or fellow member is wealthy, part of some kind of financial or media conspiracy, or takes a particular position on politics in general, or on Israel and Palestine in particular, is just wrong.
“Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu Government than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organisations. Nor should Muslims be regarded as sexist, antisemitic or otherwise suspect, as has become an ugly Islamophobic norm. We judge people on their individual values and actions, not en masse.
“No one should be expected either to condemn or defend the actions of foreign powers on account of their faith or race. At the same time, we should have the sensitivity to understand how upset many Labour party members and supporters are likely to feel about various human rights abuses around the world.
“Human rights language is so much more accurate and persuasive than the kind of language that was often resorted to in the Brexit debate. That is no doubt acceptable in other places and other parties, but it shouldn’t be here, on my watch, or in our name.
“I will continue - as Labour Leader - to pursue the causes of peace and justice in Israel-Palestine, the wider Middle East and all over the world. But those who claim to do so with hateful or inflammatory language do no service to anyone, especially dispossessed and oppressed people in need of better advocacy.
“Of course we as Labour Party members must all be free to criticise and oppose injustice and abuse wherever we find it. But as today’s Report recommends, can we please leave Hitler and Nazi metaphors alone (especially in the context of Israel). Why? Because the Shoah is still in people’s family experience. If every human rights atrocity is described as a Holocaust, Hitler’s attempted obliteration of the Jewish people is diminished or de-recognised in our history. Other human rights atrocities from African slavery to the killing fields of Cambodia, the Armenian and Rwandan Genocides are all of course to be remembered, but diluting their particularity or comparing degrees of evil does no good.
“Pursuing a more civil discourse does not in any way mean stifling free speech. I for one, will continue to meet, discuss and debate with all-comers in the cause of peace, progress, justice and human rights around the world. Though I acknowledge the need for the Party’s Leader to spread his or her time around a greater range of issues, I do not believe that anyone should be judged for the platforms they share or the human rights causes they take up, as long as they fight hate with every breath.
“And to those who have been afraid of so-called “witch-hunts” by the press in recent months, those who perhaps worry that debate and speech around difficult and important issues risks being shut down in our Party: I commend and endorse the Report’s recommendations about improving natural justice, transparency, consistency and accountability in the conduct of Party discipline.
“But not being racist and not being hateful is not enough for our Party to be the inclusive and vibrant political movement that Britain so sorely needs. If we are to unite and lead our country we must be the most welcoming and empowering place in which our diverse communities can prosper.
“I am very concerned about the Report’s findings on how too many black and minority ethnic members of our party have felt for too long. We must act against long term “special measures” placing local parties under limited democracy. I will also take action with colleagues to seek to improve the representation of black and minority people at every level of staffing and leadership within the Labour Party.
“We will work with our Trade Union affiliates and others to achieve the best programme of activist and leadership education possible. We will talk, read, learn and organise together. We will learn from each other’s personal experiences but also share each other’s considerable campaigning and political skills.
“The last year - with all of its highs and lows - has left me with every confidence that Labour is has the potential to be a powerful and transformatory movement, capable of winning the next General Election (whenever it comes), and many more elections after that.
“But my confidence and optimism are not naive. We all know that despite the overwhelming mandate I was given by Labour party members and supporters last year - we’ve all had a torrid few days.
“Whatever now takes place in our party, politics should be conducted in a decent manner. When I stood for the leadership last summer I called for a kinder, gentler politics, that’s still work in progress.
“Some people may equate “leadership” with nastiness. I disagree. Decency is no disqualification for leadership – in fact it should be a pre-requisite.
“Those loyal to my leadership, and to Labour’s core values, want to pursue the new politics with decency and civility, and see strength and not weakness in living those values.
“I ask Labour people to do as I do. To be kind and respectful to each other and our neighbours, and to be as courteous as we are courageous with our opponents.
“I believe that approach to be closer to the values of the British people than so much of what they have witnessed on the political stage over many recent years.
“I want to express huge thanks to Shami Chakrabarti, David Feldman and Jan Royall, as well as to Deok Joo Rhee and Godric Jolliffe – and all who submitted their views and took part in this comprehensive exercise.
“Britain deserves better - so let’s offer it. Come together as a party and then unite and lead our country through these incredibly challenging times. “
Notes to editors
The report can be found here:
On 29 April 2016, Jeremy Corbyn MP the Leader of the Labour Party, appointed the former Liberty Director, Shami Chakrabarti, as Chair of an inquiry into antisemitism and other forms of racism including islamophobia, within the party. He also appointed Professor David Feldman, Director of the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London, as a vice-chair.
Baroness Janet Royall subsequently accepted an invitation to join the inquiry panel as the other vice-chair so as to build on and feed in the experience and findings of her prior investigation into allegations of antisemitism in parts of the youth movement.
Terms of referenceThe inquiry into antisemitism and other forms of racism, is to be chaired by the former Director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti.
The inquiry, which will report in two months, will:
The recommendations of the inquiry led by Baroness Royall into the Oxford University Labour Club and other issues will feed into this wider inquiry.
The Inquiry reported on the 30th June 2016 and the full text of the Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry is available here.
Code of Conduct
Adopted by Labour's National Executive Committee, subject to the recommendations in the Chakrabarti Inquiry
The Labour Party is an anti-racist party, committed to combating and campaigning against all forms of racism, including antisemitism and islamophobia. Labour will not tolerate racism in any form inside or outside the party.
The Labour Party will ensure that the party is a welcoming home to members of all communities, with no place for any prejudice or discrimination based on race, ethnicity or religion.
The Labour Party welcomes all who share our aims and values, and encourages political debate and campaigns around the vital issues, policies and injustices of our time.
Any behaviour or use of language which targets or intimidates members of ethnic or religious communities, or incites racism, including antisemitism and islamophobia, or undermines Labour’s ability to campaign against any form of racism, is unacceptable conduct within the Labour Party.
From the Labour Party press team
The following was sent to the Secretary Hull West and Hessle CLP Wednesday in response to a letter from Alan Johnson MP "in relation to the Jeremy Corbynsituation ."
I emailed Mr Johnson Friday asking that he support Mr Corbyn.
At this time in point I have no reply.
I joined the Labour Party last year but have voted Labour in Hull since the 70's.
Kevin McNamara and then John Prescott before voting for Mr Johnson since moving back to West Hull many years ago.
I actually voted for Andy Burnham in last year's leadership race.
But he did not win and I always said I would support the person that did.
Sadly self centred and self indulgent MPs have been unable to do the same.
The coup was one since September 12.
The timing is appalling.
I doubt many fair minded Labour Party supporters will forgive you all.
I have noted online bullying etc from Labour MPs online including some who play the doe eyed victims.
I have had health issues this year but decided not to attend any CLP meeting or do more leafletting till the PLP had made their move.
Like many in the LP I now wait to see what transpires.
At times we all have to work with what we get in the workplace and few ordinary people have the privilege of pulling a full scale paddy in public and expecting the boss resigns.
Please forward this email to Alan Johnson I won't hold my breath for a reply
Mrs E Kersey
June 29 the following email dropped ino my inbox from the Secretary Hull West & Hessle CLP.
It is from my MP Alan Johnson and "in relation to the Jeremy Corbyn situation."
It is reproduced below in tact.
Feel free to share and add a comment on the post.
The stuff that has been shared online by some members of the Labour Parliamentary Party means that the gloves are off and privacy and confidentiality presumably suspended.
I personally contacted Alan Johnson Friday June 24 following an appeal by Paul Mason to Labour Party members to contact their MP expressing that they support Jeremy Corbyn but no reply has been forthcoming.
Note: following the emails you will find a couple of pertinent links:
The motion of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Labour Party was a secret ballot in accordance with Party rules. However I want members of Hull West and Hessle CLP to know how I voted and why.
I supported the motion along with the vast majority of my colleagues.
Jeremy Corbyn has neither the ability nor I believe the desire to lead our Party into government. We in the Parliamentary Party have observed at first hand his woeful performances in the Commons, his inability to take responsibility, demonstrate leadership or give the slightest indication that he is capable of moving beyond meaningless platitudes. Anti - austerity is a slogan not a policy. To beat the Tories we need something more than Jeremy's conviction that the support he has amongst the membership, particularly those who joined to get him elected, will somehow translate to the public at large.
A Party Leader cannot carry on without the confidence of those whom they work with most closely. That's as true in Parliament as it is in the Council Chamber where only councillors elect their Leader.
I understand why those who voted for Jeremy feel aggrieved about the 'no confidence' vote but we can't carry on like this.
Labour MPs, including Diana and Karl, could have opted for a quiet life but this would betray the people who are desperate to see a Labour government. There is now the prospect of a general election way before 2020. Indeed the Tories seem keen to call one precisely because of our weak leadership. We cannot go into another general election with an unpopular leader. We can't walk into a third consecutive election defeat. Finally, I attach an e-mail I sent to the PLP regarding the EU referendum. It was the most profound political decision of our lifetimes. The lukewarm approach by Jeremy was bad enough but there is no doubt in my mind that at least three of his closest associates in the Leader's office were actively undermining the Party's efforts. They wanted 'Leave ' to succeed and at best Jeremy could not control them; at worst he was sympathetic to their views.
Either way his performance in the campaign was risible and a taster for what to expect in a General Election. The fact that he refuses to take any responsibility whatsoever adds insult to injury.
These are the reasons why I supported the motion. Unfortunately for the more abusive elements in our Party and beyond, confidence in a Leader cannot be instilled through intimidation.
The referendum result was a huge blow. The turmoil and uncertainty it has unleashed will I fear affect our country for many years.
As Chair of ‘Labour In For Britain’ I take my share of responsibility for the way the Labour campaign was run. I couldn’t have wished for a better Head of the campaign than Brian Duggan; and our Labour Party staff and activists, from Iain McNicol to our Regional staff and CLPs, were magnificent. They cannot be blamed for the outcome and should be very proud of the work they did.
Everyone else needs to make their own assessment as to whether more could have been done to prevent this disastrous result. I will certainly do this, as I hope will the Leader’s Office. At times it felt as if they were working against the rest of the Party and had conflicting objectives.
I was proud to work with some great people who tried their very best to get the result we all wanted. Nobody in the Leadership had the right to undermine their efforts.
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