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Press Office | Labour Party

Post by Emily Greenwood »

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Labour Party Press Office

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Promoted by David Evans on behalf of the Labour Party, both at Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QT.
the Rt Hon. Emily Greenwood MP
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party (2019-present)
MP for Workington (2010-present)
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2017-2019)

"No place for Christian politics? The world is yearning for Christian politics! A politics that speaks for those who have no voice; that acts for those who have no hands; that clears a path for those who can't find their feet; that helps those who have no helper."
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Re: Press Office | Labour Party

Post by Emily Greenwood »

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From the Labour Party Press Office

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Emily Greenwood is Labour's new leader

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WESTMINSTER - At a special Conference held at Labour Headquarters, Emily Greenwood MP, newly elected Leader of the Labour Party, addressed party members as leader for the first time. After a passionate debate in the party about its future direction, Mrs Greenwood called upon the entire Labour Movement to come together to restore trust in Labour and defeat the Tories. To this end, she announced today the next steps she would take to build upon the joint declaration by both candidates in the leadership race and end anti-semitism within the Labour Party, working closely with her newly elected Deputy, Simon Godwin MP and the new Deputy Chair of the Labour Party, Sam Berman MP.

Please find a full transcript of Emily's speech below:
Friends, fellow members of our Labour Movement,

It's truly humbling and the honour and privilege of my lifetime to be standing here, today, as your leader. But at this moment, I am not thinking of myself alone. I am thinking of my daughter, Martha, and so many girls like her across the country, who can now, finally, after 120 years of our Labour movement, look at our Party and say: I can lead that.

And though that outcome was not in doubt today, I feel truly humbled to stand her today, the first woman you have elected to be your leader. And I know one thing given the talent and passion of so many women in our party today: I may be the first; but I will certainly not be the last.

There were two women in this race. And I want to pay tribute, too, to Hilda Harrington today. Though we have not agreed on every issue, there's more that's uniting us than dividing us - and I relished our debates as a chance to show Britain that debate and diversity are alive and kicking in our Labour Party. So thank you, Hilda, and I look forward to making common cause with you.

And I'd like to congratulate Simon Godwin today as well for being elected as our new Deputy Leader, and James Webster on a campaign well fought. I could not wish for a better deputy by my side - and in Simon, I know we have a passionate champion that can grow our Movement and stand up for our values. I look forward to working with him.

Friends,

This campaign, and the run-up to it, have not always shown the best of our Movement. With the eyes of the nation fixed on us, fully aware of the scourge of anti-semitism in our party, we allowed ourselves to fall into the trap of politicising it. But the pain of so many comrades, the pain of so many fellow Britons, should never be made the subject of factional politics.

A few days ago, Hilda and I went to the Jewish Labour Movement to listen to its members. Listen to the pain we, as a party, have caused them by our failure to get to grips with something so self-evidently repugnant to our movement that a party like ours should be ashamed to even need to have this debate.

We have listened to them. We have learned. And I say this. We have made mistakes - and in politics, you don't run away from your mistakes. You acknowledge them, you face them head on. You seek to restore trust. And today, I say to the Jewish community: there will be no quarter given in our fight against anti-semites. Anti-semitism does not belong in a movement like ours. It is racist. It is hateful. It is repugnant. And it ends - here and now.

And that's why, in my first visit as leader, I shall go and see the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, to apologise to him on behalf of our party for failing the Jewish community. But to restore trust, we need to do more. We need to reach out and show the Jewish community, and our country, that we are worthy of their trust once more. We must do better. That is why I shall be working with Simon and with our new Deputy Chair, Sam Berman, to take measures to expunge anti-semitism from our party once and for all - measures I shall announce to the Board of Deputies within the first weeks of my leadership.

Friends, today is the day we bring Labour back together. I know not all of you have voted for me. Some of you wanted a different result. But our Movement is a diverse one, of voices joining together in solidarity and will to change. And there is more that unites us than that keeps us apart. For the very creed of Labour is that by our common endeavour, we achieve more than we achieve on our own.

And there is much to achieve. As Britain finds a new place in the world outside of the EU, we must protect our country's communities against an ideological direction chosen only in the interests of the rich and powerful. As technology revolutionises the way we work and live, we must fight to secure security and fairness in a new, dynamic economy. As our public services crack from years of callous cuts and needless austerity, we must rediscover the public ethos that built them to world-class. And as millions of young people across the world take to the streets and cry out to us to ensure their future on this planet, we must unleash a Green Revolution the extent of which this country has not seen since the Industrial one - and make it a just one.

None of us can face these challenges alone. It is only by our common ideas, our common endeavour, that we succeed. That is the basis of the Movement that revolutionised British politics since it started 120 years ago in Doncaster and was founded the next year in London: our common passion, our common steadfast commitment to fighting injustice and exclusion, our common desire to change Britain for the better.

So today, I say to you: whether you voted for me or not - our movement is only strong when we are united and together. And only our movement can deliver the change Britain sorely needs.

I intend to make a positive case for that change right from the start, showing Britain what a Labour government will look like - to make this next chapter in the history of our country a compassionate, inclusive and just one. And I intend to relentlessly put that case to the British people, until the day that we find ourselves once more with the power to put our democratic socialist convictions into practice.

Next month will be the first challenge. A challenge where we can make a positive difference for ordinary hard-working people and their communities. And knowing from my own experience the passion and drive of our local councillors and all those candidates, I am convinced that we can do it. Because making a difference to this country starts right there, in your communities.

So join me in the battle of ideas. Join me on the doorsteps and in the mainstreets. Join me in working hard to change Britain, one life, one community, one policy at a time. During elections, and after elections, because we are not a party that shows up for votes every few years. We are a party that shows up for change every day.

Let's do it. Let's prove it. Let us not turn inward, but outward, stand up and be bold. Let us combine our unrelenting fight against injustice with our deep desire to do good. And in so doing, let us prove that we, as a party, are stronger together. Let's bring Labour back together. Let's bring Britain back together. And build that society for the many, not the few - where everyone counts.

Thank you.
the Rt Hon. Emily Greenwood MP
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party (2019-present)
MP for Workington (2010-present)
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2017-2019)

"No place for Christian politics? The world is yearning for Christian politics! A politics that speaks for those who have no voice; that acts for those who have no hands; that clears a path for those who can't find their feet; that helps those who have no helper."
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Re: Press Office | Labour Party

Post by Emily Greenwood »

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From the Labour Party Press Office

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Greenwood, Webster visit Southeast, call for government to scrap disastrous Heathwick policy

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Emily, pictured meeting with residents affected by the government's plans alongside local Labour candidates
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WESTMINSTER - Joining local activists on the campaign trail for the local elections in Reading and Slough, Labour Leader Emily Greenwood and Shadow Transport Secretary James Webster called out the government for its shambolic u-turn over airport expansion, which has been dubbed Heathwick.

Under the government's proposed top-down overhaul of airport capacity in South East England, Heathrow and Gatwick would see their functions shuffled around, with Gatwick taking short- and medium-flights and Heathrow becoming a long-range hub. The plan was announced seemingly overnight by the Transport Secretary, apparently without proper consultation with local residents or the aviation industry, who have stood up to oppose the plan.

Said Webster: "It's a crazy series of u-turns. No expansion under Cameron, approved a third runway under May, and now we are cancelling that project and doing a new runway somewhere else. On a whim, they've decided to reshape this area with a tax payer funded train line for airports to benefit from. I believe that we should instead use that money and focus on projects that help local communities and actually help reduce our emissions, instead of continuing to be indecisive about which massively expensive airport expansion we are going to undertake."

"It's a complete and utter shambles," Emily added as she spoke with affected residents. "It's not just a u-turn on a policy they adopted only last year - it's one without proper thought or consultation as well. It's almost as if Sir Arthur Stanley and his Transport Secretary sat down at their desks on day one, had a rushed thought, and completely proceeded to redraw our entire infrastructure at the Whitehall drawing board. But I've got news for them - it doesn't work that way. When both communities which are bearing the brunt of expansion and the companies who supposedly benefit are up in arms, you're doing something wrong. Not to mention that the middle of a global climate emergency is not the right time to be expanding airports, whether it's at Heathrow, Gatwick or this half-baked hybrid. So here's my suggestion: step away from your desk for a minute, get out there, talk to people, and you'll see why this plan just doesn't fly."

The Leader of the Opposition contrasted the top-down drawing-board mentality espoused by the Heathwick policy with the bottom-up, localist message of Labour in the local elections: "Across this country, Labour councillors will work every day to make a positive difference for their local area. We won't just show up every so often for elections while redesigning your entire area from a Whitehall study but stand up for our communities every day."

The two called upon the government to withdraw the scheme, and pledged Labour to opposing the scheme and seeing it defeated in Parliament if the government refused. "It's very clear that this shambolic, sterile u-turn is bad for our communities, bad for our businesses and bad for our commitments to defeat climate change. The Prime Minister wasn't even able to get the support of his own colleagues outside his inner circle! It should be withdrawn immediately, or we'll make sure it's defeated."
the Rt Hon. Emily Greenwood MP
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party (2019-present)
MP for Workington (2010-present)
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2017-2019)

"No place for Christian politics? The world is yearning for Christian politics! A politics that speaks for those who have no voice; that acts for those who have no hands; that clears a path for those who can't find their feet; that helps those who have no helper."
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Re: Press Office | Labour Party

Post by Ashton Edwards »

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From the Labour Party Press Office

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Labour on Abuse and Violence Towards Teachers: Listen to the Real Experts on Change

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Shadow Education Secretary Ashton Edwards shares a laugh with Joint General Secretary Mary Bousted of the National Education Union following a meeting to discuss teacher concerns about abuse and violence in the classroom.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WESTMINSTER - Following the release of a letter from teachers’ unions leaders calling on Government action on violence and abuse of teaching staff in Britain’s schools, Labour Leader Emily Greenwood and Shadow Education Secretary Ashton Edwards introduced Labour’s proposed policies to provide meaningful protections to teachers concerned for their health and safety in the classroom.

Labour’s policy includes developing a standard policy for schools on protecting teachers that wish to report abuse and that ensure school leadership support teachers who have been targeted. The policies would be implemented through legislation as well as through statutory guidance that all schools must follow- including academies.

The proposal fits in with Labour’s overarching goal to provide more power to educators and staff when it comes to how schools operate: Emily had proposed a strengthened Royal College of Teachers that would have the ability to propose regulatory protections for teachers. Having a strong policy to protect teachers in the classroom against abuse- and ensuring that their complaints are heard and addressed with- is the first step to giving teachers more of a say in their profession.

Said Edwards of the proposed policies: "The ones who suffer when we don’t take these sorts of complaints seriously are teachers and students. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have policies that make teachers feel safe in their workplace and in their profession. And there’s no reason we can’t have these policies in each and every school. Starting with a model policy and giving it real meaning by making it statutory is a first step to letting teachers know we hear their concerns and value their voice.”

“Our teachers are public service heroes, and they deserve to feel safe as they work for all of our children," Emily added. "Our plan will build accountability by requiring schools to come up with risk assessments that establish the risks associated with violence and abuse against teachers and their impact- and how schools will address these risks. These risk assessments will also focus on individual behaviors- particularly where it might involve students and support they might need. Our plan includes making sure that teachers have the right to have their concerns heard and are protected against any retaliation for raising complaints. And it will build partnerships between schools, administrative bodies and, where necessary, law enforcement so that appropriate responses can be taken. Through this plan we can support students and the teachers who are working every day to give those students the education they deserve."

Emily noted the pair had shared the plans with teachers’ unions leaders in response to the letter to the Government, and that they were committed to moving the plan forward however they could. “I’m so happy that we got the chance to meet with those who represent the teachers when it comes to this serious concern,” Emily said of the meeting. “I don’t want to speak for the unions themselves, but I think we came out of that meeting with a clear course of action, with concrete policies that we can get working on." She slammed the government for its unhelpful offering: "The government seems to think lately that any problem can be solved with more police. But what our teachers are asking for is to be taken seriously and get the tools they and their schools need to deal with this. Ultimately, schools aren't just for learning facts and skills, but also how to behave in a civilised society. What example do we set our children if they have to pass two police officers at the door every day? We are not interested in such posturing but rather in working with our teachers to solve the problem."
Ashton Edwards MP
MP for Kensington (2017-) | Labour
Shadow Foreign Secretary (2020-)
Shadow Health and Social Affairs Secretary (2020-)
Shadow Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary (2019-)

Shadow Health, Education and Social Care Secretary (2019-2020)
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Re: Press Office | Labour Party

Post by Dr. James Webster »

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From the Labour Party Press Office

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James Webster MP leads the Stop Heathwick Campaign

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Dr. James Webster Shadow Transport Secretary pictured talking with locals about opposition to Heathwick
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WESTMINSTER - Speaking to Parliament early today, Shadow Transport Secretary Dr. James Webster laid out the strong case against Heathwick expansion, and the need for Parliament to correct the Government’s mistakes on airport expansion. The Heathwick proposal also included environmental disastrous destruction of green spaces, and the building of a new train line for airports to use.

The Government’s proposal has had firm opposition from environmental groups, the aviation industry, and local residents. According to the Financial Times, the airline industry clearly knows that Gatwick cannot become a true hub and that it will be a barrier for a Global Britain. The pitch for Heathwick was about it’s slightly less environmental impact. Experts have claimed that is only true if the Government’s plan for Gatwick ultimately fails to make it a hub for international travel, defeating their economic pitch.

Dr. Webster speaking to parliament outlined that there are far better ideas out there to help improve our environment, and called on the Government to explore those instead of destroying Green space and homes. While speaking to Parliament, he spoke against the gamble outlining from a purely economic perspective Webster states clearly “the Heathwick proposals from the Government fail on all areas of scrutiny.” Before calling on members of parliament to support the motion and demand better from this Government.

Previously, the Leader of the Opposition Emily Greenwood, and Dr. Webster called on the Government to withdraw the scheme, pledging to seeing it defeated in Parliament should the Government refuse to do so. “This motion was a long time coming,” said Webster. “We had hoped the Government would see the error of their ways on this expansion, and make the right choice on airport expansion, the real thing we need is to work hard on making cleaning transportation options. We have to save our planet here, we need rail electrification in Wales and the North. We need to increase the number of rail lines to Europe, and finally, we need to be looking at how we can decrease the emissions of jet fuel.” Dr. Webster called on the Government to use the money saved from scrapping this proposal on lowering our carbon footprint.
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Re: Press Office | Labour Party

Post by Emily Greenwood »

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From the Labour Party Press Office

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Emily Greenwood to Board of Deputies: “No quarter starts now.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WESTMINSTER - Having met with the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom earlier, the Leader of the Labour Party, Emily Greenwood, delivered upon her commitment to outline strong measures against anti-semitism in the Labour Party in a speech to the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Announcing a wide raft of disciplinary, training and organisational measures to expunge anti-semitism from the Labour Party, Emily reiterated her commitment that “no quarter shall be given in our fight against anti-semites”.

Please find a full transcript of Emily's speech below:
Ladies and gentlemen,

There is no right way to start a speech like this. There is so much that has to be said - so much left unsaid during the past years. So much we have failed to do, and many ways in which we have failed the Jewish community.

So let me start by saying this: I am deeply, truly sorry that we have failed you. We’ve made mistakes, and we’re done running from them. We will acknowledge them, as I am doing today. But more importantly, we’ll learn from them and fix them, as I will set out to you today.

And let me start by repeating what I told the Chief Rabbi when I met him a few weeks ago, what I told my party when I first took up this job: there will be no quarter given in our fight against anti-semites. During the leadership election, Hilda Harrington and I pledged an independent disciplinary process, removed from day-to-day politics, to tackle any allegations of anti-semitism in our party.

That is why, at our next annual conference, we will bring forward proposals for a new independent complaints procedure for antisemitism and other forms of racism. And we’ll be working with the NEC to introduce independent oversight of the existing procedures until that fully independent process can be adopted. As a part of this, we’ll be setting a timeframe for all high-profile cases to be completed, and present regular statistics on how many complaints have been received and handled by the relevant bodies, so our efforts can be monitored. There is no room to dither or delay when it comes to tackling antisemitism.


The complaints process will be independent, tough and robust. We’ll be regularising the to align with the procedures we use on sexual harassment. And at the end of the process, there will be a clear scheme of tariffs and disciplinary actions to be applied by the body. And I will be asking the Chief Whip to instruct all our Labour MPs that they shall not share a platform or attend an event with anyone facing charge, suspended or expelled because of anti-semitism

We will put an end to the factional and political treatment of anti-semitism, because I’ll be very clear: it’s not. Not a factional matter, not even a political one - but one of conscience and values. That is why we’ll be amending the rulebook so that anyone who seeks to prejudice the disciplinary process - be that publicly through the media or privately through seeking to lobby members of the responsible bodies - will face discipline themselves.

And let me be absolutely clear: it is not up to us, but up to the Jewish community to determine what constitutes anti-semitism - and that is why, as already decided by the NEC and PLP last year, we will be using the full, unabridged IHRA working definition of antisemitism as the authoritative definition to be used in that process. And accepting that definition will be a condition for all Labour groups and prospective parliamentary candidates - because we committed to it, and we’ll be standing up for it. We’ll submit requests to take down social media groups purporting to speak for us while propagating anti-semitism. And we’ll be making it part of the membership checking system as well.

But a tough, independent and robust complaints process is only just the start. Because ultimately, we must once again engrain in the very fibres of our movement the opposition to anti-semitism as a form of exclusion and racism that we owe to our values. And that is why we’ll work with a properly-resourced Jewish Labour Movement to provide training for our members and politicians on anti-semitism awareness. And for members of our NEC, our disciplinary bodies and all our CLP executives, that training shall be mandatory so they can set an example to the rest of us.

The Jewish Labour Movement, as the representative of the Jewish community in our party, is of crucial importance to all of this. We shall give them a standing place on the working group to tackle this vital issue.

In the past, there have been those that attacked the JLM for factional, political reasons. I have recently spoken to many members - and the hurt at that attack on them as Jews and Labour members is real. To them, and to you, I say: the Jewish Labour Movement is the Jewish voice in our party - and it shall remain the only one. Both nationally and in our CLPs. And we’ll be issuing guidance to end the campaigns against this vital partner in the battle against anti-semitism.

I said there would be no quarter given in our fight against anti-semitism. With this rigorous programme of independent discipline and prevention, that starts now. Today, I offer you not just our apologies, but our efforts. Because no apology is complete unless there’s effort and will to do better. And I stand ready to fight for these reforms before, while and after they are implemented - because they are the right thing to do, the only thing to do.

I thank you for listening to me today. I know there is a long way to go before trust is restored. There may be those of you with reservations. But that’s alright. Because once trust is lost, it is hard to regain. I hope that, over the next few years, we can show you that we are worthy of your trust.

Let the measures I announce today be a start; but know that they shall not be the end.

Thank you.
the Rt Hon. Emily Greenwood MP
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party (2019-present)
MP for Workington (2010-present)
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2017-2019)

"No place for Christian politics? The world is yearning for Christian politics! A politics that speaks for those who have no voice; that acts for those who have no hands; that clears a path for those who can't find their feet; that helps those who have no helper."
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Re: Press Office | Labour Party

Post by Emily Greenwood »

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From the Labour Party Press Office

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Emily Greenwood launches “Every Community Counts” campaign with speech in Gateshead

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Emily pictured visiting local businesses in Gateshead



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GATESHEAD - The Leader of the Opposition, Labour’s Emily Greenwood, kicked off “Every Community Counts”, a new policy campaign focusing on addressing regional inequalities during and after the transition period with a speech in Gateshead. After visiting local businesses in a town hit hard by the government’s decision to outsource hundreds of local jobs to Europe after Brexit to produce the blue passport, Emily outlined an ambitious vision to help communities badly affected by Brexit across the country and help bring back prosperity to areas which have been left behind for decades.

In her speech, the first comprehensive policy offering since being elected as Labour's leader, Emily fired the starting gun on a campaign that also includes a Transport policy announcement by Dr. James Webster and action on knife crime to be announced by Liam McMahon later. She herself focused on protecting and uplifting local communities, their economies and services. She outlined the workings of her Brexit Communities Fund, promised the creation of green-collar jobs and committed Labour to rolling out the Transport for London model everywhere.

The event formed the start of a week of visits to communities across the Midlands and the North in particular for the new leader, who was eager to visit businesses and communities and listen to their needs.

Please find a full transcript of Emily's speech below:

Ladies and gentlemen,

It's so easy, pretending politics only has winners. When looking from Whitehall, any optimistic plan you're planning really looks like it might trickle down to the entire country. You say, as with Heathwick - well, what's good for London is good for the rest of the country. If we invest in the winners, the rest of the country will win.

Easily said, then easily forgotten. For the heartbreaking fact of the matter is this - this is a country that has communities on the losing side for ages. Communities where people look at Whitehall, time and time again, not even hoping for change, and feel they haven't got a stake. That they're in the backseat of their own country. Because while a smiling politician on the telly might tell them "everyone wins with this", they struggle. They see services move away, they see business close and never return. They fear for their jobs and livelihoods. I know - I have represented a community like that for the past nine years. And when, against my own judgment, they voted to leave the European Union, I wondered why. I spoke to them - and this feeling of being abandoned, left to your own devices, voiceless - of living in a forgotten community that's losing out time and time again - was a constant.

And here we are, years later. We've left the European Union. And again, the government is saying what it has said time again. In Will Croft's Bigger Britain, everyone's a winner. Or that's the theory, in any case. Because when you look at the evidence of their actions, this government is making the same mistakes it has made in the past. As the man who now sits in Number 10 proudly held his Blue Passport aloft, people here in Gateshead did not think of our proud sovereignty. They thought of their jobs, and the hit to the local economy - and the fact that that passport bears the ironic inscription "Made in Europe".

And when, after an entire session pressed on issues that matter here, up north and more widely outside of the M25, from buses to trains to fuel, the Transport Secretary was quizzed on his devotion to the Home Counties, he had the nerve to use a standard excuse and blame the Civil Service for bringing these issues to his desk, as if he didn't owe any responsibility up here. But the cold, hard facts speak for themselves all the same: while the government says "let us think a while about buses" and thinks again on connecting communities north and south with HS2, they spend within a heartbeat on a costly, ill-advised Heathwick prestige project that not even its beneficiaries support. And again, the same excuse, the same harsh contrast: everyone wins in the Tories' Britain, but when push comes to shove vulnerable communities get the short shrift. It's been the same old for decades: they care more about the winners than about making sure everyone truly wins.

They've forgotten, in their same old ideological impulses towards the cold, impersonal market and the abstract concept of sovereignty, that there's a responsibility owed by every government. Britain, however independent and willing to strike out into the world on its own, cannot realise its full potential without realising the potential of all of this island nation, and all of its people. Britain's success is about more than just its independence - but in our togetherness as a people, together on this island of ours, standing together to make it better.

In post-Brexit Britain as in the past, Britain can only succeed when every community counts. Labour was founded to bring in working-class communities, empower them and put them at the heart of our national story. And my determination is no less than this: to bring Britain back together, to draw in the forgotten, vulnerable communities across this country and put them once more at the heart of our national story. To realise their potential, truly build on the strength, the vibrancy and the community spirit of beautiful regions like the one I was raised in, to make them better and through them make Britain better.

It starts with Brexit, with the future relationship with the European Union. Unfortunately, it won't be the vibrant, dynamic economic areas in the Southeast bearing the brunt of the impact - it will be communities like Gateshead and places like it up and down the country facing the consequences. Just last year, a report commissioned by the Barrow Cadbury Trust found that London ranked most likely to weather the storm - and regions like the Northeast and West Midlands stood to be hurt the hardest. Rural communities will see their farmers forced to readjust after losing our access to the internal market and agriculture subsidies. Coastal communities with proud fishing traditions might lose some of their fishing rights. And manufacturing jobs will move away, unless we do something about it.

That's why I've been so clear that for me, no future relationship is acceptable unless everyone can benefit from it - and certainly not unless these communities are protected against its impact. This government has shown, by its callous disregard for jobs in communities like Gateshead, that it's no more than an afterthought to them. That's why Labour will judge the Brexit deal on this clear question: how will this deal affect communities already struggling? And if callous disregard for their needs pushes them down after Brexit, we'll say to Will Croft: go back to Brussels and don't return until you've done your duty to do right by all of Britain. And don't you dare come to these communities, which will lose their access to the internal market and all that comes with it overnight, and tell them the worst deal of all - no deal - is better than a bad one. It will lead to mass job losses, depression in local economies and the death knell for struggling communities up and down this country. We will not allow it.

But I don't want to perpetuate the myths that have let so many people down. I want to be honest with you: even the best immediate future relationship will see communities on the losing side, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you. I can't change that - the opportunities Brexit will offer us in the long run come at the cost of rights and access economies have relied upon without thought for too long. But I can promise you my honesty, and my honest effort: we will do everything in our power to make it work. To protect and uplift every community in this country after Brexit.

A Labour Government would set up a Brexit Communities fund as part of a broader Social Wealth and Credit Fund designed to take advantage of the low gilt rates and build the innovative industries of the future across this country. The goal of this fund is simple: to help vulnerable communities across this country who lose out as a result of the Brexit deal weather the storm, recover, and come out stronger. That's why the size of the fund will depend on need, on the type of deal we close with the EU. If it's a bad one, it needs more, and it will get more. Local authorities and communities that suffer significant job losses, loss of economic activity or pressure on local services - such as a hospital that struggles to find enough staff - can apply to the fund. Part of the money will go to mitigating the effects, helping companies and families as they readjust, protecting vital services like post offices and hospitals that might otherwise have to close, ruining the quality of life. The rest, roughly half of the money for each community, will go towards local projects. Every business, every group, will be allowed to pitch the projects they think will help revitalise the local economy, building on its strengths. We'll be judging these proposals on simple criteria: does it play to the area's strengths? Does it offer perspective in the long run to its citizens, improving both their resilience and the local economy's? Does it offer enough training opportunities to create well-paying jobs in the area?

There's so much potential in these areas, and it won't end after we've got the transition period well behind us. And part of this potential is in these communities - hit by Brexit or otherwise. I believe that we need to act now to ensure the Digital Revolution happening now and the Green Revolution that needs to happen to save our planet benefits all of our country. Post-industrial areas led the Industrial Revolution - and they will be a crucial part of these revolutions as well. It starts in these communities, as I said - with a green-collar jobs training programme aimed where pits and industries have left and might leave because of Brexit, to finally strengthen their economies. The new, clean energy that we need to power our country needs skilled people - electricians and engineers, welders and builders. And by setting up new skills training programmes right here, in communities that need to be levelled up, we'll be unleashing their economic potential, helping them transform their areas and rediscover a new dynamism that creates jobs and prosperity for all.

But we cannot just leave them to their own devices and expect things to sort themselves out. Because the fact of the matter is there's a distance to close to truly allow the economy to reach its potential. People need to be able to commute, to transport their goods, to get from A to B in order for economic activity to truly flourish in every part of our country. We need to connect communities so every community counts. It's so crucial to attract business that local areas are well-connected to the rest of the country and the world. And that's why I'm excited for the plans for clean, green, reliable transport across this country that James Webster will be unveiling - a massive investment in our communities to truly level them up. And these won't be promises that we'll review and cancel "because it happens" should they get too expensive or a new flight of fancy come along. These are promises to you, your families, your communities. They're crucial, and we shall do our utmost to keep them.

And to us, buses can't wait. And they needn't wait. Because communities up and down the country can't afford to wait longer to fix bus services that no longer work for all of them, to get from A to B. From the school child to the elderly who can no longer drive, these services are true lifelines of communities and local economies. But all too often, lines close; fares shoot up; and our local authorities are powerless to protect the public interest. When asked about it, Sir James McCrimmon said he'd study on it. Well, study no longer - because it's high time we implement the high-functioning system we have in our capital and bring it to all areas of this country. And there's no reason it shouldn't! When we give all local authorities in this country, alone or in coalition with eachother on a regional level, the power to form their own Passenger Transit Executives, and allow them to commission and coordinate the local bus services under a single brand as in London and metropolitan areas across this country, we empower communities to take meaningful action for their areas, strengthening their hand on fares and allowing them to subsidise the services that might not be economical but are crucial lifelines in rural areas. It's not a big ask - and Labour will implement it when we're back in government.

What goes for buses goes for other local services. We'll empower local residents to found co-operatives to protect essential services, such as neighbourhood buses and post offices that would otherwise disappear. And we'll make sure every child, every family, grows up in a safe community, by taking the real action on knife crime that Liam McMahon will be announcing. A comprehensive crimefighting plan that protects our communities, from tougher sentencing to evidence-based interventions treating this as the public health crisis it is, allied with local communities and initiatives. Backed up by action on repeat offenders who betray the second chance they're given.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me end on a personal note. I grew up in a small village in Cumbria, all the way past Windermere in the shadow of Scafell Pike. The only shop in our village was a small co-operative, run by the local community in all of our interests since 1887. As tourism arrived, local farmers turned their functioning farms into campsites. And we'd make up that local community, and take responsibility for our local area, which we all loved. There's a resilience, a power in local communities. In ever community, there's a capacity to change and make things better. But only with help from all of us, from a government that sees them an recognises their potential.

That's why to me, to us, Every Community Counts. Because we can only succeed in this island nation when no man is an island. It's time to end this cynical myth that everyone wins if we keep investing in the winners, and make sure to realise that potential for every community to build a brighter future. Brexit presents us with the challenge - the post-Brexit world with the opportunity. And I know we can do it, with government as a force for good by our side, helping these communities to their feet and along the way, one step at a time.

As we travel the country this week, rest assured that Labour is your party. And that we'll be your government, and give you, wherever you are, a stake in this country of ours. Wherever you are. In every area of this country, my colleagues and I will be outlining policies that work for all of us. Because we'll bring Britain back together, and build a Britain where every community counts.

Thank you.
the Rt Hon. Emily Greenwood MP
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party (2019-present)
MP for Workington (2010-present)
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2017-2019)

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Re: Press Office | Labour Party

Post by Emily Greenwood »

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From the Labour Party Press Office

The Labour Party
Labour Central, Kings Manor
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 6PA

Emily Greenwood addresses the nation

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WESTMINSTER - The Leader of the Opposition, Labour’s Emily Greenwood, addressed the nation to respond to the Prime Minister's address following the escalation of protests in London. She condemned the violence and thanked emergency services, but also reflected on the rising divisions in British society and called upon politicians and the wider public to take their responsibility for healing them.

Please find a full transcript of Emily's speech below:
Good evening.

The scenes we have seen today on the streets of our capital have been deeply disturbing. As I saw the cenotaph sprayed with paint, the symbols of a hateful regime so casually sprayed near it, I thought of my grandparents. For their generation, the monument that was defaced today represents sacrifice - sometimes the ultimate sacrifice - for our country and for the ideals it holds dear.

The cenotaph and the story it tells transcend politics. It transcends every difference we might have in our nation, to the core of the ideals that make us who we are, as citizens of Britain and of the world. It saddens and angers me, and many across this country, to see it displaying the red stigma of hatred and division.

It hurts, because this is not who we are, or should be. So tonight, I join the Prime Minister in his appeal to our national heart and head - violence and hatred have no place in our society, they have no place on our streets and it must stop. And as we've seen the worst defacement of our national values take place today, we've seen its best embodiment in the brave men and women of our emergency services and police who have stood and done their vital work to keep us all safe. To them, I say today: thank you. For doing your duty and representing the best of our society even as we have seen the worst. And thank you for your continued efforts to bring justice against the vandals who defaced on of our most sacred symbols of national values and let the streets of our capital be marred by violence.

I condemn, unreservedly, the ugly and hateful remarks made today, on whatever side of the debate they may fall. As the Official Opposition, we have a duty to offer scrutiny to the government. We have had our reservations about the decision that sparked the protests today. But their time and their place is at a peaceful, respectful exercise of our right to protest, and will be in Parliament, our house of deliberation and democracy. And as Leader of the Loyal Opposition, I feel a duty to represent the best of reasoned, civil debate, and act as its guarantor. That is why I have referred those in my party who have been accused of anti-semitic remarks to the independent disciplinary processes put in place. And whatever action is required of me, I will take, to exercise my duty to represent and exemplify the best of the British tradition of civil, free debate.

It is with that duty in mind that I appeal to you tonight. We are a nation marked by diversity by our very nature. Placed in these isles by our common history, having grown up together, united by how different we are. Britain is a place where you can and should be able to be yourself, to speak up for yourself and to stand up for yourselves and others. That diversity, drawn together into unity by the island home we share, is the wellspring of our national identity. In our Britain, being different should not be a cudgel to beat others with, but a national treasure to be celebrated.

And that is why I welcome the prospect of a truly independent inquiry into not just the antisemitism, but islamophobia and xenophobia, sexism and racism, homophobia and all other forms of intolerance and discrimination, and will ensure that its terms of reference in Parliament will meet that goal. But to all of you, I must stress: this is not a responsibility you can leave to us as politicians, or that we as politicians can shear off to an inquiry while we go about our daily business, and we'll see in six months. We have a common responsibility to act now to turn this around. And I believe that, as a nation, whether it is on Parliament or on our streets, we have the capacity to do so.

In the past few years, we've seen cynical narratives make our differences into that cudgel. As we embark on a new chapter in our history, we've seen the tone of our national debate sour and darken, until our differences had never seemed more acrimonious. Until our neighbours became strangers, and people we disagreed with enemies to be reviled. As citizens of Britain, and we as politicians especially, we have a responsibility to see tonight's events as a wake-up call. Because however it pains me, no inquiry needs to tell me that we cannot go on like this. We have to put an end to the kind of cynical weaponisation of our differences, and the way we deal with those differences, that has infected our politics. Under my leadership, we have begun to change that tone in our party - and it is my deepest political drive to change that tone in Britain as well.

And I believe we can. Because ultimately, like the cenotaph, our national symbols - the Union Jack and our national flags, our anthem and the image of Her Majesty on our coinage, our proud culture and our common history - are not about what you see, but about a deeper layer. And the deepest part of that layer is a togetherness of values which we'll always share. Whatever you look like, whoever you love, whoever you believe - Britain is your country, and you belong here. That is the essence of Britishness. We see it not just in national symbols but in passionate but fair debate, in community centres where people help eachother, in nights at the pub with your mates. Fair play, decency, freedom, compassion - these are the true symbols of our nation, and they are in our hearts.

I will always continue to stand for a kinder political culture that reflects those values. And I will stand with anyone, wherever they sit in Parliament, wherever they are in our country and wherever they stand, to turn around the culture of division and exclusion in this country. It is the duty of our generation, as it was the duty of our grandparents' generation, to stand up against division and exclusion, and for the values that have made Britain Great. And tonight, I pledge myself to that cause, and ask that you stand with me to heal the wounds and wash away the stigma.

Because when our differences are used as a cudgel, people get hurt. People like you and me. And it doesn't have to be that way - it shouldn't be that way. So starting from tonight, let's make a new promise to eachother - after those who have crossed the line are brought to justice, let us take hold of eachother and rediscover what we have in common. And when we disagree, as we will, let it not be in a hurtful way that brings eachother down, but in a respectful way that builds us all up. Let us build a new, kinder national conversation in this country - one that goes to the compassionate, fair-minded and deeply decent heart of our nation, and the common values we share.

Thank you, and good night.
the Rt Hon. Emily Greenwood MP
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party (2019-present)
MP for Workington (2010-present)
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2017-2019)

"No place for Christian politics? The world is yearning for Christian politics! A politics that speaks for those who have no voice; that acts for those who have no hands; that clears a path for those who can't find their feet; that helps those who have no helper."
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Re: Press Office | Labour Party

Post by Dr. James Webster »

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From the Welsh Labour Party Press Office

The Welsh Labour Party
1 Cathedral Road
Cardiff
CF11 9HA


Welsh Labour Runs booth in Gwledd Conwy Feast

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Conway - After the recent flag statement caused the ire of many in the , the Welsh Labour party decided to show off their Welsh and British Pride by participating in the large Gwledd Conwy Feast. The traditional food festival launched back in 2003 and is set within the world heritage site of Conwy. Welsh Labour operated a booth serving local cuisine and giving anyone who wanted one either a Red Dragon in front of a Union Jack pin or a Welsh flag pin. Their booth was operated by many volunteers of the Welsh Labour Party, including MPs and AMs. Including the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Dr. James Webster who is the MP for Aberavon, and the MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney Steffan Lewis.

Steffan Lewis, MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, discussed his pride in the Welsh history of social justice, saying “as we gather today at this festival to celebrate our country’s wonderful food tradition, I’d like to reflect on our history of solidarity and struggle to build a world in which all can have food on their plates, a roof over their head, and a job that provides and empowers. Nearly two centuries ago, in my constituency, tired of oppressive wage cuts and exploitative conditions, miners walked off the job, chanting Caws a bara – cheese and bread, simply but powerfully asserting that as the workers who toiled to make our society run, they deserved the ability to sustain themselves and enjoy life. In the 20th century, brave Welsh women and men were instrumental in organizing for, winning, and protecting the post-war state which took care of all, as perfectly encapsulated by our NHS. We also can’t forget the power of our solidarity extended abroad, emblemized by the Welsh Anti-Apartheid movement which the great Nelson Mandela said performed “magnificent” work in advancing the cause of justice in South Africa. As we look around at a world plagued by the ravages of austerity – communities left to fend for themselves, public services laid to waste, obscene rates of poverty, an employment regimen defined by exploitative zero-hours contracts – I am proud of our history, and know that working people in Wales will carry the baton passed by generations past and stand at the forefront to build a better world, for Caws a bara.”

James Webster who was volunteering at the booth with his wife and kids, discussed his pride in Wales and its culture. “The Prime Minister may not understand our flag, our symbols, or why we would be proud of them alongside and British symbols. He hasn’t met the people I’ve met today, I grew up here in Wales, I love it here. I want my children to learn about our flag and our history. I especially want them to finish learning Welsh as I did. I want them to look at both the Union Jack and the Welsh Dragon with pride and patriotism in their hearts. Wales has a long history of service to Britain. Nearly three hundred thousand Welshman served in the British army in the first world war. A war where our country was led by it’s first and so far only Welsh Prime Minister. That’s not even to mention the coal that has been mined here since the start of the Industrial Revolution. For me and many others, being Welsh is a core part of our British identity and for any English politicians who think you can’t be both Welsh and British. I think they should actually spend some time in Wales meeting with the average person here and learning how proud they can be of being both Welsh and British. I know I will continue to feel pride every time I see the Red Dragon. To highlight that point, my daughter has asked me to wear my pin with the Dragon into Parliament, and I plan on doing so.”
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Re: Press Office | Labour Party

Post by Liam McMahon »

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From the Labour Party Press Office

The Labour Party
Labour Central, Kings Manor
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 6PA

As part of the Labour Party’s ‘Every Community Counts’ initiative, the Shadow Home Secretary visited the Stoke on Trent South constituency, which flipped Conservative in 2017. He discussed the issue of knife crime with local representatives and police officers, before giving a speech at the Meir Community Education Centre.

He said:
“Thank you all for coming,

When Labour says every community counts, we know that no community can feel counted until it feels safe. On that issue, the Conservatives have let every community down as it has overseen a sharp rise in crime. The rise in knife crime across the country is particularly prevalent and worrying, especially for families, parents and young people.

The Conservatives show just how out of touch they are when they portray knife crime as a ‘London issue.’ We know that it is an issue that has blighted every community. Speaking to residents, I was struck by concerns over the huge rise in knife crime in Stoke that has been recorded. I share the community’s concern when they speak of gangs that have come into the community recently, importing drug and knife crime in the process.

But the Conservatives won’t acknowledge this problem in Stoke. They didn’t acknowledge the problem at all until it came to London. But we know that the rise in knife crime has been sharper in towns like Stoke than it has in many London boroughs. The problem wasn’t acknowledged until it hit London, and even then, the conversation continues to revolve around London where we’re told that it is simply Sadiq Khan’s problem and not Britain’s problem or Stoke’s problem. It is a narrative that is totally out of touch with the reality of millions of concerned Britons.

We need a strategy that tackles knife crime across the country.

What have we seen from the government? We saw them cut police numbers and fail to deliver an efficienct recruitment process to restore them.

We saw our youth centres like Meir Community Education Centre across the country and across Stoke close down, taking vital institutions in the fight against crime away from too many communities – leaving our youth vulnerable to gang culture.

But the Tories have called it a job well done before the fight has even started. We still haven’t seen a comprehensive strategy to fight back against this spike in knife crime that the government has overseen. In doing so, communities across Britain have been let down. They deserve a Home Secretary who is by their side, listening to their concerns and coming up with real strategies to tackle crime. The government has instead been radio silent.

It’s clear now more than ever that only a radical strategy that is tough on criminals, whilst investing in our communities to clamp down on knife crime and treat it like the grave public threat it is will help. That is the two-pronged approach I want to offer to the people of Stoke and the wider British public today.

The Conservatives have been soft on criminals and have been asleep at the wheel as we’ve seen the habits of middle-class drug users import crime into Stoke. These criminals have exploited Stoke’s youth and seen families torn apart and too many youth sent to an early grave. That is a moral failure, but it takes potential out of Stoke. Every child, even the so called ‘left behind’ children the government wants to ignore, could be an innovator, entrepreneur or artist. They could be our future leaders. And the government has done nothing while criminals have sought to exploit them and recruit them into their ranks.

Instead of rescinding some of the reforms this very government introduced and calling it a job well done, the Labour Party is calling on the government to introduce a comprehensive knife crime bill that is tough against those that carry or use knives at every level of the justice system. We need to introduce tougher penalties for those who carry knives, for those who commit knife attacks and against gangs that promote knife use among the youth.

Instead of relying on randomised stop and search in the fight against crime, hoping to find a needle in a haystack and alienating communities across Britain in the process, we would strengthen stop and search powers for our police in a targeted way, ensuring they can clamp down on repeat knife crime offenders.

And we’ll fast track convictions for knife related crimes, ensuring swift justice is delivered. Conservative cuts to the justice system, coupled with their steadfast refusal to fast-track knife crimes, has left communities suffering as potentially dangerous criminals are left off the hook for months while justice is stalled.

Being tough against criminals who carry and use knives is the moral thing to do, and it’s crucial we send a message to criminals that knife crime and the blight it has on our communities will not be tolerated.

But that alone won’t work unless we have a strategy within our communities to deter knife crime. We have seen first-hand that the government’s cuts have left our communities less resilient in fighting crime and protecting our youth from being lulled into a life of crime. As the government has cut those crucial safeguards against crime, such as youth centres and community policing, it’s allowed places like Stoke to become a haven for criminals.

It doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve seen parts of the country able to break this cycle. In Glasgow in 2006, there was one simple proposal: that if violence was treated as a public health issue as well as a policing one, that cycle could be broken. The establishment of the Violence Reduction Unit which did just that had turned the tide.

Being tough against criminals who perpetrate crime is the morally right thing to do. But it is wrong to act at the point of the crime happening. Glasgow’s violence reduction unit worked within our NHS, our social care system and within our schools to actively work to prevent crime before it had occurred.

It made sure awareness of the dangers of gang culture and knife crime were communicated to our young people, but it gave them opportunities by making youth centre places as well as job and training schemes available to them. Their approach was consistently evidence based and proactive, and through that we have seen the murder rate in Glasgow halve by 50%, and its status as the murder capital of Europe erased completely because of the brilliant work done.

Politicians in the United Kingdom should’ve learned from these immense successes. Instead, they’ve been ignored, and it is our young people and communities like Stoke that have suffered the consequences.

And the government continues to ignore these successes as well as our police's calls for further funding. When Phillip Hammond only put £100 million towards the fight against knife crime last year, police chiefs made it clear they needed at least £200 million more if they were to clamp down on that violence. The Tories’ unpatriotic penny pinching had let Britain down once again. Sajid Javid had put £35 million for the establishment of Violence Reduction Units throughout the country, but again this has been too little, too late.

A Labour government would ensure the funding requested by the police was granted. But we wouldn’t just throw it around and hope that the money spoke for itself. We would learn from the success of the Violence Reduction Unit and establish a national Violence Reduction Unit.

That “NVRU” would take a hands-off approach, supporting real local action by establishing and supporting Violence Reduction Unit branches across England and Wales that would be support local police forces across England in establishing their own Violence Reduction Units.

These Violence Reduction Units would seek to replicate the success we have seen in Glasgow so that not only knife crime, but violent crime is reduced across the board by ensuring local bodies from our councils, to our youth centres, to our schools and hospitals are joined together in the fight against knife crime. And we would support them with the necessary funding to do so.

They will be supported in this endeavour by the NVRU, which will act as forum where best practice will be communicated to the Violence Reduction Units across the country. Further, it will take a realistic and evidenced based approach and use that to set targets on knife crime specifically, ensuring that police forces across the country are driving knife crime down in their communities.

That localised approach is at the heart of Labour’s ambitious message to the British people. Instead of seeking to exploit divisions at the Tories do, we know communities that are united and empowered are the strongest weapons against crime we can build. When the Tories make clear that ‘some communities count’, only taking threadbare action when the problem threatens the Home Counties when it grips London, we’ll make clear that every community counts.

The Tories may not intend to be, and they may vehemently deny it, but their course of inaction, cuts and indifference has put them on the side of criminals. We’re clear that we’re on the side of the British people, and we have the comprehensive strategy to show it.”
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