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Statement from the Open Labour Management Committee:

Last Friday’s vote to leave the EU was momentous and historic. It will have reverberations for generations to come on the lives of our citizens and those in the EU. The referendum brought to the fore divides which have been papered over for far too long with retail politics by mainstream political parties.

Those divides are now playing out within the Labour Party. Tensions around Europe have shown that many traditional Labour supporters are at odds with their elected representatives. The reality of this disconnect has caused a loss of confidence in the Leader of the Party within the Parliamentary Labour Party.

The Labour Party is feeling an almost unbearable pressure caused by these countervailing forces, with the very real threat of an existential crisis for our party. Going forward, the Labour Party must be a broad, inclusive and outward looking force in society.

We fully accept and respect the mandate delivered to the Leader in September 2015, but in light of the changed world we now face it’s time for a new mandate. Open Labour is calling for a new leadership election to give members and supporters of the Labour Party a chance to choose who will lead the Party in the negotiations for leaving the EU, and forge a path to a new European Settlement protecting the rights of our citizens and environment.

15 responses to “Statement on post-Referendum state of the Labour Party

  1. Labour Member, accepted Corbyn as leader in September; disappointed with his leadership since, disgraced that he did not lead Labour Remain from the front

  2. Dear Open Labour,

    Please stop fiddling while Rome burns. In other words, you have picked a fine time to hit the self-destruct button of political opportunism. I don’t know when it’s ever going to sink in, but this is precisely the sort of political behaviour that caused many of your erstwhile supporters to stick two fingers up and vote Leave (and defect to UKIP in last general election). It seems to me that Jeremy Corbyn is the only one who is saving you from the electoral abyss (apart from being a southern softie). I would say that given the high proportion of Labour voters that wanted out of the EU, he has done a pretty good job for the party in running a low key Remain campaign; think of the numbers that could have been alienated if he had joined in and shared a platform with Cameron and his half-truths.
    Stop the infighting now and use your energy to come up with a plan to manage our exit from the EU and build a UK that provides fairness and opportunity for all.

    1. Dear Celia,

      Given dramatic changes in the political landscape over the last few days, Open Labour supports a new leadership election to give members and supporters the opportunity to select a Leader with a clear mandate to address the new challenges we now face. The Leader of the Labour Party must be able to do exactly what you say – manage our exit from the EU and build a UK that provides fairness and opportunity for all. Doing this requires a strong mandate to move forward with confidence. We believe a new mandate is the best way to achieve this.

      Open Labour

        1. Dear Callum,

          Following a leadership election, the Labour Party will have a Leader with a mandate to manage our exit from the EU, and to meet the range of other new challenges which are now emerging. Open Labour will fully support this new mandate for this new time.

          Thanks,

          Open Labour

          1. Hi Callum,

            Just to re-iterate the above, we are calling for an election and think that the events of the last few days certainly justify that.

            We aren’t calling for anything more or less than that – let’s keep cool heads here, insofar as possible!

          2. Great! So when the membership re-elect Corbyn you will stop this destructive sniping and all get behind him (without any drawn daggers).
            Blair may have got Labour elected, but times have changed and people want honesty and integrity in their politicians not some PR-friendly, establishment type who will just keep dishing out more of the same. Re-running the leadership election again and again is not going to come up with a different result just because you want it to be so.
            I do hope that this is all going to happen very quickly; we need an effective opposition (not just the leader) NOW

  3. We need democracy. This is not happening because the wrong leader was chosen. We are tired of a 19th century political system trying tonsolve the problems of a 21st century economy.

    When Estonia left the Soviet Union they invested in education and digital infrastructure became one of the most open and competitive economies on earth.

    Britain needs to reform it’s institutions. That is why we lost this referendum. We have silenced the poor for long enough. They will not back a progressive leadership that isn’t giving them a real voice. Don’t make us choose between progressive politics for the 50% or conservative centrism for the other 50%. Give people a platform so they can thrash out what they have in common.

  4. who is Open Labour and what right do you have to make any call at all? You have never set up a membership network, have no structure and no one elected you. So before you make any calls to do anything at all, sort yourself out as you are merely a tiny group of people with no mandate and becoming the tool of a faction within the Parliamentary Labour Party.

    Neal Lawson wrote in the Guardian of 24th July last that a soft left revival was essential bemoaning “the absence of a Part of Labour that combined ideology and pragmatism, that was more democratic and pluralist… and which mediated the hostile relationship between the right of the party and the hard left”, and without this “the party has become a war zone, where power and purpose cannot be reconciled”. He was right, and Open Labour looked though it could be that mediating body.

    But it has failed even the most elementary test and speaks for no group at all. Who are you? The article is signed by a Tom Williams – not heard of him – but the comment defending the piece is by Tom Miller, so is this the same person? And who else are you? Lets have your names and a role call of who you are and who you represent.

    If its not too much to ask, put yourself up for election.

    Trevor FIsher.

    1. Hi Trevor,

      Tom Williams is a member of our steering committee, which you can find details of on our About Us page – always a good place to start.

      We will be electing our executive. However, we (obviously) won’t be electing our executive until we have a paying membership structure.

      I believe we have also directed you to this information previously?

      Also question what relevance this has to the present situation in the party.

      Tom

      1. Sadly we don’t choose the timing with which things like this happen. We do however have little choice but to respond.

  5. I did not vote for Corbyn. I gave my first preference to Liz Kendall and my second to Andy Burnham along with my third preference for Yvette Cooper. On purpose, I left the fourth preference empty. I have been a member since 1996 and I have experienced the rise and fall of the Labour movement during that era.

    We have a problem in our party. A majority of the country – and more importantly our hinterlands – voted for Brexit. Our focus now is on removing closet-Brexit-supporting Corbyn in favour of a moderate ‘remain’ candidate. How can we re-build relations with our hinterlands if we vote for a metropolitan pro European ‘leftie’? I know the automatic response to this statement is: We shouldn’t pander, we need to listen and together we need to move forward etc.

    However, we cannot simply draw a line under the issue of free movement and say Brexit is happening whilst fielding candidates with pro EU sympathies – especially freedom of movement. Any snap general election or future GE could result in UKIP doing what the SNP did to Labour in 2015. We need to be careful but we need to do more than just listen to our voters in the Welsh valleys, the midlands and the North of England. We need to get a leader who can balance their desires with the remain voting Urban Labour voter – who at this moment in time seems to dominate party thinking and organisation.

    We must realise that Brexit has occurred and we cannot put in place a leader with views contrary to that endeavour.

  6. “We need democracy. This is not happening because the wrong leader was chosen.” – Ben

    What a breathtaking statement.

    “Any snap general election or future GE could result in UKIP doing what the SNP did to Labour in 2015.” – Gareth Hunt

    This is my waking nightmare too. A very real possibility which frankly, should terrify us all.

    Particularly ironic too that some cynics are currently using accusations of Anti-semitism as part of a campaign to wrench the party rightwards, efforts which may lead this country further down the road to fascism if they are successful. I should not need to say this but I am opposed to racism in all it’s forms, and do realise there is substance to some (not all) of the incidents, which should be dealt with sensibly and robustly. However, we need to be sure we are tackling ALL forms of endemic racism equally (and certainly never just to cynically point score). It is particularly important to keep power-relationships in mind, and not forget the importance of standing up both against the racism suffered by those who are weak and lack a voice in society AND for free speech. People like Naz Shah, Jackie Walker and Maryam Namazie etc. have spent their lives doing this, and do not receive sufficient recognition of that in my opinion, in fact there are many who actively try to shut down their voices. Where is our defence of these women?

    Finally, “We need to be careful but we need to do more than just listen to our voters in the Welsh valleys, the midlands and the North of England. We need to get a leader who can balance their desires with the remain voting Urban Labour voter – who at this moment in time seems to dominate party thinking and organisation.” – Gareth Hunt

    Could not agree more, would add the West Country, East Kent etc. etc. basically areas of widespread poverty. So weird that in the other article about needing another leadership contest, Corbyn is accused of NOT appealing to those outside urban centres?

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