This weekend we had the first hustings events organised by the regional Labour Party as part of the process leading up to the ballot which will decide the order of Labour candidates at next year's European elections.
It was good to be at these events, in Lincoln on Friday and in Nottingham on Saturday.
Both events were chaired by Labour's current MEP for the East Midlands, Glenis Willmott. Candidates answered questions on a wide range of issues including unemployment, the economy, attracting inward investment, skills, immigration, taking on UKIP, the question of an EU referendum, climate change, the role of an MEP, campaigning, tackling apathy, using social media, securing European funding, working with trade unions and improving employment rights and social protection.
The East Midlands Labour Party is organising further hustings events across the region for Labour Party members. I hope that members will come along to meet the European candidates, ask questions and put forward your ideas for next year's campaign.
It is important members have their say as we develop the campaign for next year's elections and to ask candidates for our views on the issues that you care about.
Future hustings events for Labour Party members in the East Midlands:
Friday 24 May, Derby City Council Chamber, The Council House, Derby.
Friday 31 May, Braunstone Civic Centre, Kingsway, Braunstone Town, Leicestershire.
Saturday 1 June, Corby Council Chamber, The Corby Cube, George Street, Corby.
Please contact me or the East Midlands Labour Party for further details.
As well as these hustings events I am always happy to attend local CLP, branch or trade union meetings to discuss with members why I am standing and to talk about next year's European elections.
You can contact me here.