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Labour’s new MPs call for party to ditch New Labour and oppose austerity

austerity-isnt-working-ngl-e1330370859488Ten newly-elected first-time Labour MPs this morning issued a call for the party to take on a bold anti-austerity agenda:

Having arrived in Westminster as newly-elected Labour MPs after speaking to tens of thousands of voters during our election campaigns, we know how important it is for the future of our Party to move forward with an agenda that best serves the everyday needs of people, families and communities and that is prepared to challenge the notion of austerity and invest in public services.

Labour must now reach out to the five million voters lost since 1997, and those who moved away from Labour in Scotland and elsewhere on 7 May, renewing their hope that politics does matter and Labour is on their side.

As we seek a new leader of the Labour Party, we are needing one who looks forward and will challenge an agenda of cuts, take on the powerful vested interests of big business and will set out an alternative to austerity – not one who will draw back to the ‘New Labour’ creed of the past.

Now is the time Labour needs a leader who’s in tune with the collective aspiration of ordinary people and communities across Britain, meeting the need for secure employment paying decent wages, homes that people can call their own, strong public services back in public hands again and the guarantee of a real apprenticeship or university course with a job at the end of it. From restoring Sure Start to providing dignity and a good standard of living in retirement, these are the aspirations key to real Labour values today and will re-engage people across our country in the years to come.

We look forward to engaging in the debate surrounding the Labour leadership in the weeks ahead to secure our Party as being best able to meet the challenges faced by ordinary people at this time.

Signed:

Richard Burgon (Leeds East)
Louise Haigh (Sheffield Heeley)
Harry Harpham (Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough)
Imran Hussain (Bradford East)
Clive Lewis (Norwich South)
Rebecca Long Bailey (Salford and Eccles)
Rachael Maskell (York Central)
Kate Osamor (Edmonton)
Cat Smith (Lancaster and Fleetwood)
Jo Stevens (Cardiff Central)

Congratulations are due to Richard Burgon for organising this initiative. We shall be hearing a lot more from him!

15 Comments

  1. James Martin says:

    Yes, excellent initiative, I realised that there were some very good socialist candidates standing this time round (including some who were sadly unsuccessful) so it is nice to see they are already putting some markers down, and it further adds to the variables in the leader/deputy contest in terms of nominations.

  2. John says:

    Now all we need is 25 other labour MPs to join these ten and between them select one to contest the leadership. That will give members a clear choice between ‘more of the same’ from those who have currently declared and an alternative that will ensure Labour becomes again a party that fights for the class interests of its supporters.

  3. Andy Newman says:

    Well done to Richard for this

  4. John P Reid says:

    The 5 million votes lost since 97, half of them are dead,
    In May 1970 ’18 and half years from November 51′ we’d lost 2 million votes,would we be looking for them, at that time

  5. John P Reid says:

    In 1997 we were elected to be tough on crime, yet one of the above,defended the 2011 rioters as citing in self defence

    1. David Ellis says:

      Tough on crime, soft on war crime.

      1. John P Reid says:

        Maybe blair could argue, that killing innocent Iraqis, was acting in self defense, same as one MP think rioters beating people us is

  6. David Ellis says:

    What is there next move? If they can’t get a candidate on the roster or even if they can and he or she loses will they be prepared to sit behind a Blairite drone for five years of zero opposition with the final outcome being the obliteration of Labour in England to go with its obliteration of Labour in Scotland.

    Perhaps they should think of creatring an anti-austerity bloc with the SNP against the Tories and New Labour.

  7. Paul L says:

    Nice to see Cat Smith sign up to this initiative, I had the pleasure of canvassing with her for Labour NW when I first signed up to the party when a student in Lancaster. She says what she means, and would stick by it. It”s heartening to know there are other new Labour MPs like Cat that are fully opposed to the ideological nonsense of austerity and the weird vagaries of the “Third Way” New Labour project. I shall therefore stay the course with the party.

    I wonder if Andy Newman has yet written about this move on Socialist (dis)Unity yet?

  8. colin says:

    I know.. In Liverpool I/we are organising a live music event called EVERYONE. Solely to raised food stuffs & cash for the food bank.. How has it come to this.
    Colin Rogers.

  9. So who is the candidate?

  10. Eddy Carter says:

    Maybe its time for a split in the party and the formation of a, more left leaning,labour party. I think the desire to win the next election will drive the party more towards the centre ground over the next five years and the left will be increasingly isolated.

  11. Robert says:

    Chuka has gone and now Burnham is the expected leader, I hope Findley may stand.

  12. Paul Bird says:

    Agree with the article but please drop the word aspiration, you’re just playing into the hands of the Blairites and their desire to move back to New Labour.

  13. Alison Chakir says:

    good news at last

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