Sunday, 3 November 2013

Blog: campaign update

It is now less than seven months until European polling day. 

Over the summer and now into the autumn the East Midlands European candidates have been visiting CLPs across the region and campaigning with our MPs, parliamentary candidates, councillors and local campaign teams.

It has been a busy couple of months or so over the summer, here's a brief rundown of the some of the highlights:

I was pleased to join our parliamentary candidate Matthew O'Callaghan and colleagues in Loughborough Labour Party for their annual garden party. The party in Loughborough have notched up some important council by-eleciton wins recently.

With Glenis Willmott MEP, I also attended the Earls Barton Labour Party garden party (although it was moved indoors due to rain). This event welcomed members from Kettering and Wellingborough CLPs.

In September I joined European candidates from across the country at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton. It was good to meet with candidates from other regions to discuss the campaign. I also had the opportunity to meet with colleagues from Labour's sister parties from across the world including Tunisia, Burma, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

I spoke at the Labour Movement for Europe campaign rally on the first day of Conference. This was a good event with a clear determination from across the Labour movement to win well next May.

Speaking at the Labour Movement for Europe Campaign
Rally at Labour Party Conference in Brighton.
Glenis Willmott, East Midlands MEP and Leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party addressed Conference. You can read the speech here.

A number of policy announcements were made at Conference by Ed Miliband and the Shadow Cabinet on issues like the bedroom tax, childcare and housing. You can find more information on the Labour Party website.

In early October I set out my thoughts on Britain's future in Europe and the Labour vision for Europe at the Wellingborough Labour Party Supper Club. I will publish the key arguments in my speech as an article. I was honoured to have been invited to speak at the Supper Club, previous speakers over the years have included Neil Kinnock, Peter Mandelson, Mo Mowlam, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair.
Thank you again to members in Wellingborough for an enjoyable evening.

It was good to speak at the Leicester University Labour Students reception. Like Labour Clubs in other parts of the region, Leicester is an active and campaigning club. Labour Students and Young Labour are campaigning across the region ahead of next year's elections and 2015.

Addressing Leicester Labour Students reception.
I chaired a discussion on the Labour Party reform proposals in North West Leicestershire which was attended by Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls MP. This weekend I spoke at a fringe event hosted by Progress at the Labour in Leicester Conference. At the event I set out the importance of the 2014 European campaign as a key milestone towards 2015 and our efforts to secure a Labour majority. 

Chairing a discussion on party reform with
Ed Balls in Coalville, North West Leicestershire.

I also want to congratulate the Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidates selected over the summer; Leonie Mathers (Sherwood); Nick Palmer (Broxtowe); Kevin Gillott (Amber Valley);Catherine Atkinson (Erewash) and Jamie McMahon (North West Leicestershire). It was also good to see promotions for East Midlands MPs in the Westminster re-shuffle recently with a number of our MPs getting promotions. The region is well represented in the Shadow Cabinet and front bench with Chris Leslie, Vernon Coaker, Lilian Greenwood, Gloria De Piero, Liz Kendall, Jon Ashworth, Toby Perkins and Andy Sawford. I was also pleased to see Willy Bach join the Shadow Foreign Office team in the House of Lords.

The next few months will be busy. Thank you to everyone who has joined us on the doorsteps already. I am looking forward to campaigning in more parts of the region in the next few weeks and months. Finally, Glenis Willmott will be hosting her annual European Forum for Labour Party members on 23 November. I look forward to seeing members from across the region there.

Twitter: @Rory_Palmer