Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Campaign update blog: #CostofCameron, why the EU matters, campaigning & more....

At the end of December I wrote an article for LabourList looking ahead to May's European elections. The weeks and days are counting down towards the elections and European candidates and activists are campaigning across the country.

My article sets out why these elections matter for Labour and why we need to be setting the agenda in important areas like EU reform, immigration and how we work for a better and fairer EU. Central to our campaign has to be setting out the solutions to the cost of living crisis, and explaining why the Tories and UKIP do not have the answers. In my article I argue that Labour should be taking on UKIP and we should be dismantling their arguments at every opportunity.

Let me know your views on my article via Twitter (@Rory_Palmer) or my Facebook page.

On Monday 6 January I joined Jonathan Lampon on the BBC Radio Leicester Breakfast Show to talk about why Britain's EU membership matters to Leicestershire and the East Midlands and why May's MEP elections are important. It was good to talk about how EU funding is boosting important regeneration projects in the area, which arguably would not be happening without that funding because of cuts to other funding streams. In the interview I also pointed out that families in Leicester and the region are £3000 better off because of our EU membership - a figure calculated by the business organisation the CBI.

The second weekend in January saw Labour's #CostofCameron campaign day, highlighting the dreadful cost of living crisis created by the Tory & LibDem Government. It was good to join a campaign team in my council ward, Eyres Monsell, in Leicester to set out Labour's response to the cost of living crisis. 

With campaigners in Leicester for the #CostofCameron campaign day.

In Leicester I attended a public meeting organised by the Keep Clarendon Park Local campaign about the proposed opening of a Tesco Express on Queens Road/Clarendon Park Road. There is a lot of local concern about the possible impact of this on local independent businesses. I share this concern and I am supporting the local campaign. At the public meeting I asked the Tesco representative if they open in the area whether they will be paying their staff the Living Wage. In a roundabout way the answer appeared to be a 'no'. 

In the last couple of weeks or so I have joined our PPC Jamie McMahon and the campaign team out on the doorstep in North West Leicestershire, spoken about the European campaign at Bosworth and Leicester South Labour Parties and taken part in a phone-in and debate on Radio Leicester about climate change.

Over the coming weeks Glenis Willmott and the European team of candidates will be joining campaign sessions across the East Midlands. To find out more and to sign up for sessions in your area see here.

A big thank you to all the Labour Party activists and supporters campaigning across the region ahead of May's elections.