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After a bruising leadership challenge over the summer, Ian Bissell, Canonbury ward, appeals for the Labour Party to now unite to fight the Tories and build the support needed to win the next election. 

The dust has now settled on the second leadership campaign in less than a year. It was a bruising campaign and the division in our Party has not helped our cause. The country is bitterly divided after the narrow victory of the Leave campaign in the EU referendum, and the Tory Party having anointed its new leader.

Racism and intolerance is on the rise and the Tory Government is on a path to severely damaging our economy as it marches relentlessly to the tune of Euroscepticism.

Despite Theresa May’s conference rhetoric of wanting to build “a country that works for everyone”, the behaviour of the Government has not changed one iota and increasingly looks as if it has taken on the mantle of Ukip.

Jeremy Corbyn won a decisive victory in the Labour leadership challenge with 62% of the vote and a majority across all categories of supporters – members, registered supporters and trade union affiliates. During his campaign Jeremy set out ten pledges to rebuild and transform Britain.

  1. Full employment and an economy that works for all
  2. A secure homes guarantee
  3. Security at work
  4. To secure our NHS and social care
  5. A national education service, open to all
  6. Action to secure our environment
  7. To put the “public” back into our economy and services
  8. To cut inequality in income and wealth
  9. Action to secure an equal society
  10. To put peace and justice at the heart of foreign policy

Although more detail is needed to turn the pledges into the basis for policy and an election manifesto, surely they would be supported by everyone in the Party? As the late Jo Cox said: “Far more unites us than divides us.” No matter whom you supported in the leadership challenge, it is now time to unite, to draw on talent across the Party, and to fight the Tories.

It is time to take leadership: to defend our communities against the Tory onslaught; to protect our economy, jobs and hard-won rights as we negotiate a new deal with Europe; and to build the support needed to win the next election so that we can transform Britain into a tolerant and welcoming country where no-one and no community is left behind. 

Time to unite to fight the Tories

After a bruising leadership challenge over the summer, Ian Bissell, Canonbury ward, appeals for the Labour Party to now unite to fight the Tories and build the support needed to win...

Since Jeremy Corbyn became leader there has been a surge of new people joining the Labour Party. Here in Islington South & Finsbury the membership has more than doubled.

There has been an extraordinary growth in Party membership since Jeremy Corbyn became leader: well over half a million members, make it the largest political party in Europe.

Membership in Islington South & Finsbury has more than doubled since September 2015, taking it to 2,582 ordinary members and 345 trade union af liated members. There was a surge in new members (546) immediately following the European Referendum, as there were in many other constituencies.

Labour’s success in Islington is achieved by building strong relationships with local communities – listening to people’s concerns and what they want to achieve for themselves and their children.

Where we can, we use our power in local government to make a difference: to build more social housing; work with local businesses and council contractors to provide apprenticeships and jobs for young people; and improve schools; but we are limited with what we can achieve locally. We need to win back power nationally.

To help Labour win the next election get involved in your local ward. 

Membership doubles

Since Jeremy Corbyn became leader there has been a surge of new people joining the Labour Party. Here in Islington South & Finsbury the membership has more than doubled.

Islington Council leads the campaign against the Tory Government's Housing and Planning Act. Diarmaid Ward, Executive Member for Housing and Development, tells the tale of two local families whose lives will be ruined by the devastating Act.

Islington Council is leading the campaign against the Government’s Housing and Planning Act, which will force it to sell off council housing and to introduce a Tenant Tax on hard-pressed working families.

The extension of Right to Buy to housing association tenants, and the new definition of what an “affordable home” will cost in London, will simply make the housing crisis worse.

Together with other Labour Housing Leads in London, in August I wrote to the Minister for Housing and Minister for London, Gavin Barwell MP, to tell him that in the best interests of the great city of London, he should use his position to take urgent action to pause the implementation of the Housing and Planning Act.

Since he did not reply, we wrote again. This time, we thought it would be helpful for him to hear from two of the many working families whose lives will be ruined by the Tenant Tax.

Islington resident Sinead, has lived with her husband in a council at for 15 years. Their 19-year-old daughter suffers from mental health difficulties; they also have two sons, aged eight and 12.

Sinead started work at 16 as an apprentice office administrator; she and her labourer husband now earn a household income that will force them to pay a Tenant Tax of £193.75 a month. “We’ve both worked hard to create a stable home for our children,” Sinead said. “If we’re forced to pay this new tax we might end up having to leave London. The alternative is that I give up my job and try to find a part-time position instead.”

John works as a railway engineer. He and his wife, who is an administrator, have lived in their council flat since 1990. Based on their combined income, they will be liable for a Tenant Tax bill of £200 a month.

Contractually, John must be able to commute to his workplace in 45 minutes. He comments that “the Government are making it impossible for me to earn a living. My wife and I can’t afford this new tax, but we also can’t afford to rent in the private sector in London.”

If the Minister won’t answer me, and my fellow Labour Housing Leads, he should answer real Londoners like Sinead and John, who will be hit be this devastating legislation.

The fight continues. 

Housing and Planning Act: the fight continues

Islington Council leads the campaign against the Tory Government's Housing and Planning Act. Diarmaid Ward, Executive Member for Housing and Development, tells the tale of two local families whose lives...

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