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UNISON backs Corbyn


UNISON’s National Labour Link met Friday in Newcastle. This is a gathering of UNISON delegates that pay into the Labour Link that will decide the unions policy in the Labour Party. Whilst most of the packed agenda was already set weeks ago there was only really one topic on people’s minds, namely the prolonged coup. Members at the forum were nearly all supportive of Jeremy’s leadership and unanimous in their belief that the actions of those in the PLP that were plotting was wrong.

The key note speech by Dave Prentis left the hall in no doubt that our union stands right behind Jeremy’s Leadership.
Dave Prentis stated that “last year our Labour Link committee voted to support Jeremy Corbyn for leader – it was the right choice for our members, our party and our country.” This gained huge applause from the delegates. Dave went on to praise Jeremy for repositioning the party as an anti-austerity party opposing privatisation and cuts and also supported his position on scrapping Trident.

The backing being given to Jeremy today was not just out of personal loyalty or for outrage for what had happened although that was clearly part of it, but because Jeremy’s policies chime with UNISON’s own policies and Jeremy is popular among the the union and party membership.

There were are calls for the whole of the Labour Party PLP to start working together and UNISON offered to play a role in bringing both sides together to take the fight to the Tories, but it was with the clear view that Jeremy remains leader and if there was a Leadership ballot, as Dave Prentis also made clear, “Jeremy will be on it.”
Angela Rayner, Shadow Secretary for Education and Shadow Secretary for women and equalities also spoke to the forum to express her disappointment about the situation. Angela made clear it was a shame that despite our effective opposition in which we have managed to “rolled back’ many Tory policies around Housing welfare and Trade union act, some MPs were more interested in infighting than taking on these issues.
Any hope from the coup plotters that the trade union support is falling way has been proven categorically not to be the case.

Andrew Berry is a member of the UNISON National Labour Link committee


  1. John Penney says:

    Great stuff !

    Hopefully solid trades union NEC member support on Tuesday will firmly establish Jeremy as of right on the Leadership ballot.

    The Blairites are constantly boasting to their compliant media megaphones that “Jeremy will be kept off the ballot”. As anyone who watched Angela Eagle’s laughably poor, slippery, policyless, response to Andrew Neal’s probing questions on today’s Sunday Politics, will know, Jeremy will demolish this faux “leftish” stooge candidate for the Labour Neoliberal Right, in any Leadership debates – never mind their very different political records .

    Well done UNISON !

  2. Carmen Malaree says:

    So pleased to read this letter. It’s so important to have the backing of the Unions, especially if the plotters continue their efforts to oust our leader. A big, big thank to Unison from a loyal member of the Labour party.

  3. James Martin says:

    The coup plotters are incredibly weak and have very little support in the movement, something that is disguised partially by their support in the media. When the initial coup failed they had little option other than to stand a candidate against Jeremy, but that will now expose their weakness for what it is. From this moment every ward branch and CLP, every affiliated union branch, region and executive and every affiliated socialist society must be argued and won to a position in support of defending internal democracy, ensuring Jeremy is on any ballot paper and getting the vote out to support him when he is. And every time this is done, every time this is raised, *we* must be seen as the ones calling for Party unity, *we* must be the ones calling for no splits and *we* must be the ones calling for an end to the bullying and abuse that the coup attempt has been based upon.

    NEC elections, vote:
    Ann Black,
    Christine Shawcroft,
    Claudia Webbe,
    Darren Williams,
    Peter Willsman,
    Rhea Wolfson.

    National Constitutional Committee (NCC) – Chris Williamson.

    Treasurer – Diana Holland

  4. Martin Read says:

    So pleasing to get some positive feedback into what is, after all, potentially a big step forward for Labour, after years in the self-serving Blair wilderness.

  5. Tony says:

    Her arrogance is unbelievable.

    Her local party does not support her leadership bid and she only got 16.2% of first round votes in last year’s deputy leadership election. She was the second candidate to be knocked out.
    And yet, she claims she can ‘save the Labour Party’.

    Her arrogance is only matched by her hypocrisy as she stated that Labour was 7% behind in the opinion polls. What she did not mention was that Labour was level-pegging before she and the rest of the wrecking crew started their latest attempt to remove Corbyn.

    I also had to laugh when she said she was ‘on the left of the Labour Party.’

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