Speech to Worthing West CLP Leadership Nomination Meeting August 3rd 2016

As we vigorously debate the future of our party tonight, I think it fair to say I won’t hear too many dissenting voices when I say that Clement Attlee 1945 Labour government was our most effective ever.

Bevan’s spearheading of the creation of the NHS and it’s implementation of the Beverage report to create the welfare state are the cornerstones of British society and we have defended them ever since from those who would erode these vital safety nets.

In the aftermath of war, the British people looked at the Labour party to rebuild. And rebuild we did. While I am not comparing the magnitude of recent events to the Second World War, again the country is looking to us for answers in the aftermath of Global Financial Meltdown and Brexit.

in the 60s Wilson embraced the white hot heat of technology and made the country a fairer place through decriminalisation of homosexuality, abortion law and racial equality.

While it might be the understatement of the evening to state the legacy of Blair is hotly disputed amongst Labour members, his government did achieve such things as Sure Start, Civil Partnerships and cancelation of debt to the poorest countries in the world.

These were all necessary, noble and wonderful achievements. There were also all made possible by electoral mandates gained by winning elections. The Labour party has to be in the business of engaging with the electorate and not retreating to the sidelines. We are a party of government.

A vote for Owen Smith is not a return to the days of Tony Blair. However it is a vote for good socialist policies such as banning zero hour contracts, repealing the Trade Union Act, increasing spending on health and social care, re-instating the 50p top rate of tax and a pledge to build 300,000 new homes per year.

As a party we need to start looking beyond ourselves and reach out to the wider electorate. We owe it to those who most need a Labour government such as those on zero hour contracts, the unemployed and the disabled.

I will be voting for Owen Smith as leader of the Labour Party and urge you to do the same.

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