Labour has elected a new leader, Keir Starmer. He has our 100 per cent support. His election is a historic turning point in Labour’s fortunes: the opportunity, step by step, to bring about the radical changes necessary to rebuild the party as a credible and successful party of government.
In response to Keir’s call for unity, Progress and Labour First are today announcing the creation of Labour to Win, a new umbrella organisation that has as its aim to bring together the various groups within the Labour party that share our conviction that the party has now to change – and change radically if we are to regain our ability to win elections and attain power so we can build a fairer society.
The past four and a half years have been a miserable experience for many of us who have committed their lives to the advance of democratic socialism and social democracy. Many long-standing members and supporters fell away as they could no longer stomach the factionalism brought by the hard-left, the abusive – sometimes vicious – behaviour, antisemitism, and denigration of Labour’s past achievements that have poisoned the party and made it unelectable in the country.
In the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, Labour must provide compelling and effective leadership, working across the breadth of the Labour movement, within our local communities and across the political divide. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Keir in our commitment to work with government – at all levels, of all political persuasions, and in all parts of the country – to beat this and protect our fellow citizens.
Despite the bleak context of a global public health emergency, there is fresh hope that Labour can play the role it is supposed to. We greet Keir’s election with a huge sense of relief that what has been a lost decade in our party’s history is coming to an end. We must now all focus on ensuring Labour is once again seen as a party of government.
We now need to help him seize the initiative and shape British politics for the decade ahead. We failed to renew ourselves sufficiently in opposition after 2010, allowing the coalition government to pursue increasingly extreme austerity policies untrammelled and unchecked. We cannot repeat this mistake in 2020. We are committed to working with everyone of good will – inside the party and beyond – who believes that a new future is possible for the party and, crucially, for the country.
Our aims are simple:
- To rally support within the party for its new leadership and support them in the mammoth effort now required to bring about fundamental change in the party’s culture and organisation so as to defeat this populist and nationalist Tory government at the next general election;
- To provide our supporters with the information, arguments and organisational support they need to win internal party debates;
- To create a forum for the debate and dissemination of new ideas and policies essential to demonstrate that the party has a new popular and winning policy platform to offer the country;
- To build networks for a new and diverse generation of activists, councillors and parliamentary candidates to gain experience and learn from each other; and
- To provide a space in which old members, new members, rejoiners and those let down by Jeremy Corbyn can find support and encouragement.