At a packed special meeting on 24 February Unite’s Executive Committee endorsed Rebecca Long-Bailey as Labour party leader, and Richard Burgon as deputy leader.
The choice of the Labour Party’s next leadership team is a crucial one for Unite members. Many of our union’s priorities were reflected in the last manifesto, and we know that the policies are popular with voters. However, we lost the election badly and we urgently need to rebuild trust in areas where people don’t believe that Labour is on their side.
We also need a leadership team which is able to face the challenges of the future – Tory trade deals which abandon workers’ rights and environmental and consumer standards, the escalating climate crisis and the growing economic inequality which is fuelling poverty and homelessness.
Both Rebecca Long-Bailey and Richard Burgon have set out clear proposals for how they would get to work to rebuild connections with communities who feel left behind and further democratise the Labour Party.
Rebecca Long-Bailey has a real vision for how we can support new industries to both tackle the need to protect the environment whilst offering quality, skilled and well paid jobs in parts of the country which have suffered for too long through lack of investment.
Richard has a detailed plan for engaging with local Labour Parties, listening to members and being clear and focused on policy messages. He will also establish a commission to focus on the leave-voting seats that were lost at the last election.
Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, the Labour Party has grown to well over half a million people, and developed policies for improved rights at work, public ownership, collective bargaining, addressing the homelessness crisis and building a fairer society which allows us all to thrive.
Now is the time to elect a leadership team whose core values are the same as ours, and who can take this forward: working as a united team so that we can win power and put our policies into practice.