A year in the life of Open Labour (Members’ Report)

Open Labour was officially created just 6 years ago, as a home for Labour members and affiliated supporters who want to see a modern, transformative Labour government. We are run solely by volunteers and our organisation often punches above its weight.

Our socialism looks outwards to the voting public, is honest about the political challenges we face, and encourages an inclusive & pluralist ethos within the Labour Party.

And it seems that many others share that vision, because – despite the coronavirus pandemic bringing unprecedented challenges – our organisation has seen fantastic growth.

Here are some of Open Labour’s highlights from the last year or so:

  • Our membership has doubled since January 2020. Though we don’t aim to be a mass membership organisation, we do aim to be an influential organisation with unique, interesting opportunities for our members.
  • We met our fundraising targets to begin hiring an organiser, our first member of staff – the administrative groundwork for which is currently being done.
  • We threw our biggest ever conference (online this year) with the support of the Electoral Reform Society. Over 1000 people tuned into our Q&A with former Chief Economist of the World Bank, Joseph E. Stiglitz and Guardian journalist Zoe Williams.

We were joined by guests from across the Labour Movement and beyond, including Chair of the Labour Party Anneliese Dodds, Stonewall co-Founder Lisa Power, Shadow Environment Secretary Luke Pollard, Former Leader of the Labour Group in the European Parliament Richard Corbett, Belfast MP Claire Hanna, CEO of The Runnymede Trust Halima Begum, and many many more. 

We also had sessions from partners such as Make Votes Matter, Labour for a European Future, and Hope Not Hate.

  • The Open Labour Activist Academy launched at our conference. It is a programme set up to train, develop and support OL members to work for a better world, whether in the Labour Party, through public office or otherwise.
  • We co-published a book with Politics for the Many, putting forward an agenda for modernising our democracy and rebuilding the UK.
  • We launched the first pamphlet in our Foreign Policy series, with Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy and BAFTA and Emmy winning film maker Waad Al-Kateab.
  • We won seats on Labour’s highest governing body, the NEC, and in Young Labour.
  • We ran and won a campaign with FILE to ensure fairer voting for all party members electing CLP representatives to Labour’s highest governing body, the NEC. We also ran external-facing campaigns and petitions throughout the pandemic such as ‘Let local people run test & trace’ and ‘End the Covid crisis on our campuses’.
  • We launched a Councillors Network. And many of our members were elected, or re-elected, to councils and parliaments across our regions and nations.
  • We reported The Sun newspaper to IPSO and won. They were forced to change their headline and IPSO instructed them to issue a clarification. We aren’t afraid to take on political attacks and hold media accountable.
  • We ran over 40 events, including launching policy working groups on Justice Reform and Climate, our rally at Labour Connected which was attended online by over 2000 people, and our Zoom lockdown socials.
  • We launched a podcast, featuring guests such as Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin, Shadow Minister Alex Sobel MP, President of the UCU Vicky Blake, and Chair of the Jewish Labour Movement Mike Katz.

THANK YOU to all of our members and volunteers who have helped make all of this possible!

We have many other projects coming up, such as our Activist Academy, Labour Party conference fringe events and our Policy Workshop series, which we invite you to be a part of.

Play a role in shaping the Labour Party’s identity, policies and campaigning to win.

If you’re a member of the Labour Party or an affiliated organisation but not yet a member of ours, go to openlabour.org/membership to join us.

You may also like

Open Labour policies at heart of Labour transport plans by Tessa Milligan, Co-Chair | 11.04.24 | In: General, News A people-first economy is core to Open Labour’s political values, and we have long fought for basic services to be run for people, not profit. In our 2022... Read More
Open Labour endorses 17 candidates in Young Labour and Labour Students elections by Tessa Milligan, Co-Chair | 19.01.24 | In: News, Uncategorised The Open Labour National Committee has voted to endorse the following candidates in the Labour Party's youth and student elections: National Labour Students... Read More
Statement on the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (18/10/20... by Open Labour National Committee | 18.10.23 | In: General, News The death toll from the Hamas terror attack in Southern Israel last Saturday has reached 1400+ people. Hamas continues to fire rockets indiscriminately into... Read More
Breaking New Ground: Members’ Report 2023 by Tessa Milligan, Co-Chair | 27.08.23 | In: News Open Labour was founded to give voice to Labour Party members who believe in a practical, open-minded and inclusive type of democratic socialism. We want to... Read More