Mark Sandell: Let’s unite and take on the Tories

Mark Sandell, chair-elect of [suspended] Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party, contributed this to the two-page article in Brighton & Hove Independent on Friday, September 23.

I will be joining Labour Party members in The Palmeira public house in Hove tomorrow evening (Saturday) to celebrate the election of the leader the biggest political party in the United Kingdom.

By then, 600,000 members will have chosen the leader for the second time in 12 months.

Labour’s establishment is not happy about the new mass politics of our party. Our annual meeting in Brighton and Hove was annulled because 600 members had the cheek to elect a new leadership team of officers who support Jeremy Corbyn.

Other local Labour parties — like ours — have been suspended. Thousands of individuals have been expelled; tens of thousands have been denied a vote.

Councillor Warren Morgan, leader of the Labour Group on Brighton and Hove City Council, circulated false allegations about our annual meeting, because he was keen to see the results overturned.

Peter Kyle, the Labour MP for Hove, attacked Jeremy Corbyn, our leader, and supported the no-confidence motion coup.

But surely it is time for this divisive disloyalty to stop.

Mark Sandell, chair-elect of Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party, campaigning with Councillor Lloyd Russell-Moyle

Political differences have always existed inside Labour. I don’t want pro-war Labour members expelled or Progress, Peter Kyle’s well-funded faction, banned.

But the Labour movement needs to unite against the Tory government. Peter Kyle needs to support Jeremy Corbyn as the elected leader. He should promote the key policies that will win people to Labour: taxing the rich; nationalising the railways; ending privatisation of the NHS; building half a million council houses; and scrapping student fees.

If we can unite around these policies, if we demonstrate solidarity by joining the junior doctors’ on their picket lines, Labour can rebuild and put the talk of parliamentary party coups and reselection behind us.

So, in that spirit, I hope Peter and Warren will join our celebration in The Palmeira tomorrow.

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