Thursday, 11 July 2013

Less than three weeks to go.... campaign update blog

The finishing line is in sight. 

It is now less than three weeks until the MEP candidate ballot closes. This has been a marathon of a selection ballot, with eight weeks of voting, hustings events across the region and thousands of members to contact.

With another busy week behind us I want to say thank you (again) to my brilliant campaign team. My team of volunteers have worked tirelessly for many weeks. I cannot thank them enough.

Since my last update blog we have had the East Midlands Labour Regional Conference. It was good to welcome the conference to Leicester, and to hear excellent speeches from Deputy Leader Harriet Harman, General Secretary Iain McNicol and many of our region's MPs.

The conference was well attended and it was good to catch up with friends and comrades from across the region. Labour in the East Midlands is in good shape and ready for the European and local elections in 2014 and the General Election in 2015.

It was good to attend a meeting of Lincoln CLP last week as well to discuss the European campaign. Thank you to the CLP for organising this discussion, it was interesting to hear the views and ideas of members in Lincoln. Important progress was made by Labour in Lincolnshire in May's County Council elections but UKIP also secured 16 seats.

I have spent a lot of time since May's elections listening to our activists and members across all parts of the East Midlands, and specifically on the issue of tackling UKIP. I will be setting out my thoughts in more detail on how Labour should tackle UKIP in the coming weeks

This week I joined Leicestershire CWU Branch Treasurer Andy Connelly to post a bundle of Save Our Royal Mail post cards to MPs. I am campaigning against the privatisation of Royal Mail.

Finally, a note on Ed Miliband's big speech this week. Ed is right to set out some bold party reforms. We cannot change politics for the better if we are not serious about changing and reforming the Labour Party. I have always supported the Labour Party - trade union link and will continue to do so.

The link is vital. An effective trade union link makes for an effective Labour Party. The trade unions have played an important role in the Labour Party historically and it's crucial they do so in the future as well. I am proud to be a trade union member and proud to have the support of trade unions in my MEP campaign.