In this GE series, we sit down and understand the Labour Party in the UK.
By: Michael Oatway
Michael Oatway is a final year history and politics student at the University of Leicester. He has been member of the Labour party since October 2014 and has stood in local elections as well as being the Vice-Chair (campaigns) of his Universities Labour Students Club.
The U.K Labour party is the U.K’s main left-of centre party and currently the main opposition party to the governing Conservative party. Founded in 1900, Labour has been in government several times over the past 117 years; it was last in government between 1997-2010 under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. The current party leader and leader opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, was elected leader in 2015. Our party manifesto, ‘For the Many, not the Few’ was released on May 16th.
This general election will be fought around one key question: Brexit. The Majority of Labour members and politicians, myself included, campaigned for ‘remain’ in last year’s referendum and were dismayed at the result. However, we accept the democratic outcome and have pledged to oppose the government’s plan for a ‘hard Brexit’ that would leave Britain Poorer and isolated in relation to our European neighbours. To that end the party has pledged to protect the rights of foreign nationals living currently in the U.K. We remain committed to welcoming foreign students to our universities and will also safeguard their rights as well as continuing to extend a welcoming hand. We want to retain access to the European single market to safeguard our jobs and trade as well as retain key elements of European social legislation within UK law.
The rhetoric surrounding immigration has been contentious and unhelpful. Labour are committed to listening to people’s concerns around immigration but won’t succumb to the rhetoric of some of our other national politicians. Labour believes in implementing a fair immigration system that values the contributions migrants bring to our country. WE will establish a migration impact fund to those communities with high levels of immigration. WE will not, as the government has been doing, continue to turn away refugees from war zones.
The Labour party has traditionally been the party committed to the U.K’s welfare state, National Health Service as well as increasing taxes on higher earners in order to fund more public service investment. In our manifesto, we are committed to expanding educations service for students via the creation of a National education service and the abolition of student fees. We have pledged more money for our NHS, adult and further education and for social housing. We are committed to securing a fair housing deal for young people, so that students can continue to aspire to open day own their own home.
A vote for Labour is a vote for change in this country and a chance to see a softer Brexit and a fairer and equal country. We will not accept that Britain need continue to be in the current state its in: a brighter future is possible. Please make sure you register to vote by 5 pm on Monday 22nd May so that your voice is heard. Vote Labour on June 8th.