LME 2022 Exec Elections Candidates' Statements

Rohit Dasgupta

I am interested in continuing on the national executive committee of LME. I have been a member of the Labour Party for ten years during which time I have stood as a parliamentary candidate (2017) elected as a councillor in the London Borough of Newham (2018) and most recently been a MEP candidate in South East (2019).

I believe our future lies in Europe. Over the last several years we have seen a toxic culture grip our nation which projects the EU as anathema to democracy. We need to change this narrative. We are already seeing the impact of a hard Brexit which has had devastating impact on our higher education sector, business sector, creative industries, freelance workers and equalities amongst just a few. It is important that we continue to be the progressive voice for Europe in the Labour party and lobby the leadership to reset the damage caused by the Tories.

I am also national officer of LGBT Labour, member of the Fabian society and a trade unionist- GMB and UCU. I work as a Senior lecturer at University of Glasgow. If elected I shall work across the movement with other socialist societies to promote and advocate for a progressive response to the current Brexit scenario we currently face


Robert Evans

“Outside the EU, Britain is fast discovering that our influence and ability to tackle, not just European but global challenges is seriously diminished. Whilst we can wish that Brexit never happened, in reality LME must start now to help Labour build for the future.

As a former MEP I know there are many good people across the political divide, who regret the UK’s departure and would welcome an alternative approach to the juvenile hostility of Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and co.

With our partners in the Party of European Socialists (PES) including the new German chancellor, Labour can form new partnerships with our neighbours so an incoming Keir Starmer led-government can lead from the front and outline a positive relationship with the EU.

The loss of trade deals, the departure from the Erasmus scheme and the damage done to our global status may not yet resonate with voters, so Labour will have to tread carefully in explaining the necessity of an innovative partnership with the rest of Europe.

LME has a vital role to play, helping Labour to develop and explain, this sensible, clear and positive European policy; a process of which I would be proud to be part.”


Glyn Ford

A Member of the European Parliament from 1984-2009, he served during this period as Deputy-Leader of the Socialist Group and as a member of the Labour Party’s NEC. In the EP has was active on racism and fascism and was the Chair of the EP’s Committee of Inquiry into the Growth of Racism and Fascism in Europe, publishing Fascist Europe. His other interests included Science and Technology Policy, and Trade and Foreign Affairs, particularly with respect to NE Asia. He was the European Union’s Chief Election Observer for the Indonesian Elections in 2004 and the post-conflict Aceh Elections in 2006/7. He was for eight years, until 2019, a member of the Party’s National Policy Forum - representing South West England constituencies - and on the International Policy Commission, where he co-ordinated the Brexit discussions. National Treasurer of the Anti-Nazi League. Writes for Chartist and published - with Julian Priestley - Our Europe, Not Theirs (2016), and Talking to North Korea (2018). Currently lives in Greater Manchester.

 

Steve Gavin

A little about my recent background, after the 2016 referendum I became very active in the ‘Remain‘ movement becoming one of the founder members of the Liverpool for Europe group and also one of the co-founders of the Veterans for Europe group. I don’t think, apart from getting the Tories hands off the controls of power, that there is a more important single issue for this country than our relationship with our EU neighbours and trading partners.

I am a Regional Construction Manager for the Canal & River Trust in the North West of England, so I am used to working with many different partners and achieving goals. I am involved in my local CLP (Wavertree) as the Veterans representative working with recent service leavers and their families, you can see I don’t fit the profile of a Europhile but I’d say that the line ‘‘NATO stopped the Russians starting a war but the EU stopped us starting a war with each other is an absolute truth.

I’d love to be considered for an Executive position but the organisation will have my fullest support in any eventuality.

 

Theresa Griffin

MEP 2014-2020, Chair of the European Parliamentary Labour Party, NPF, Liverpool Councillor 1994-1998, Member Co-operative Party, active in the Social Democrats, Party of the European Socialists, Labour Movement for Europe, Labour Irish Society.

Trade Unionist, I have fought for everyone to have a decent job, to defend public services, to protect our most vulnerable. MEP of the Year 2017 for authoring the S&D Energy Poverty Manifesto. The solutions to this global crisis are quality public services and an innovative European Green Deal. It is by listening to our citizens and maintaining our relationships with sister parties across Europe, we can return Social Democrat Governments to reverse austerity, improve lives and unlock the potential of our young people.  A unified Team Labour; a Labour voice in a Socialist Europe internationally. A Just Transition to a decarbonised economy, quality jobs; only achievable by winning for Labour.

If elected I would: 

  • listen to members to plan a winning campaign on Social Democratic values and maintain our links with sister parties across Europe and globally 
  • work with members to frame a Labour response to Covid-19 impact and the climate emergency, security and fair taxation 
  • strengthen the trade union and cooperative link. 

 

David Hewlett

I have been a committed European all my life.  I speak French and some German and am committed to dialogue, understanding and collective action as the best means of resolving most issues. 

Brexit was a major error which has not only weakened the UK economy (with the less well-off paying the price) but has weakened the collective bulwark across Europe against racism, other form of discrimination and populist right-wing movements. 

I am a life-long trade unionist and have been a branch convenor.  I joined the Labour Party in the 1980s and have been a member ever since (except when debarred by a career in the Civil Service).

I work in healthcare in the UK and Ireland, have worked with the European Parliament and Commission and am currently President of the European Coalition for Vision.  I have a particular interest in disability rights and supporting homeless people. 

I see the Labour Movement for Europe as a force for good and champion for a fairer world in confused times.

I would welcome the opportunity to help win the arguments, win supporters and help the UK return to the better version of the EU than the one people voted to leave in 2016. 

 

Julie Lawrence

I served the Labour Party as a member of staff for twenty years, managing the work of the National Executive Committee, political assistant to ministers Ian McCartney and Douglas Alexander, and Director of the General Secretary’s Office. Formerly, I was a civil servant, and as a mature student I studied Social Policy & Government at the London School of Economics. My current employment includes working with international academia and corporate sectors on areas such as impact investment, sustainability and climate change.

I have worked on many campaigns, including the General Elections from 2001 to 2017 and the EU referendum of 2016. At local level I was branch secretary in Islington North and candidate’s aide in Swindon South.

My experience in campaigning and organisation at national and local level means I can contribute effectively to the work of LME. I believe working collaboratively with the EU is fundamental if we are to achieve fairness, security, sustainability and prosperity for all. I am standing for the LME Executive as a passionate internationalist, with the ambition to rejoin a reformed EU, promoting progressive policies to build on its many achievements.


Dr Ann Lawson Lucas

I have been a committed European since the age of 10, when my family began annual, extensive travels resulting in lifelong friendships in France, as well as the awakening of my political understanding. I am a retired University lecturer in Italian language, literature and culture; my studies began at Edinburgh University and I taught in the Universities of Southampton and Hull. I still write articles and books, notably 4 volumes (2017-2021) published in Italian in Florence which, as the context for a literary theme, narrate the political and social history of Italy from 1883 to 2012.

My academic and publishing friends in Italy are appalled at Brexit and want the UK to return to the European family. I began actively campaigning before the 2016 Referendum when I lobbyed as many MPs and Peers as I could, a process I continued after the disastrous result, obtaining numerous supportive responses. I also joined 5 pro-European organizations, both local and national, and for 2 years have been a member of the National Council of the all-party European Movement, to which I have just been re-elected. I live in East Yorkshire and am a lifelong member of the Labour Party.

David Levy

I have been in the Labour Party since 1974, currently Secretary of Lewisham Deptford CLP. I am a committed European; I voted to remain in the Common Market in 1979, and in 2019. I served on the EU R&D platform on internet technology for 18 months in the 2000s. I am a member of the international association of privacy professionals, I have travelled widely in Europe and write regularly on my blog, on Brexit and information technology. I am Branch President of my GMB Trade Union Branch.

I am a member of Another Europe, took part in its canvassing operation before Conference 19 to get a second referendum on the agenda. I lead its intervention in Citizens Take Over Europe and the EU’s Conference on the Future of Europe.

LME must help build a sustainable majority in the country and in the Party for rejoining. There may be intermediate waypoints but “Fixing Brexit” does not serve the interests of the people of this country nor further the internationalism that EU promises. We need to get this discussed in Parliament. A campaign to rejoin must also be based on opposing the hostile environment and the racism inherent in the Brexit campaign.

 

Keith Macdonald

Labour must always be an internationalist party, recognising the importance of sharing sovereignty with other democratic countries to achieve common goals.

I believe that we need to do much more to widen understanding of this principle both within and outside the Labour party.  This must be based on practicalities – on the need for international cooperation to tackle issues like global warming, pandemics and fairness and equality. On this we will have overwhelming public support if we can clearly show the benefits of what we propose.

As a Scot, I have seen how English nationalism threatens the destruction of our union and a second, even more destructive Brexit. Only a Labour Party with an internationalist perspective can combat both Scottish and English nationalism.

The European Union offers the best opportunity to advance our aims through  international cooperation. This means working for a Labour Government which will cooperate constructively with our European neighbours.

Ultimately, I believe a reformed UK will want to re-join a reformed EU since our natural destiny is to be a leading European nation. We should be optimistic but realistic in our hopes and belief in our countries and nationms and their ability to work together for a better future for us all.

 

Denis MacShane

Labour needs a policy on Europe or at least a story on Europe. This requires brand new approach.

It is about working out how we insert into Labour Party thinking and policy the fact that just saying No to a new referendum or No rejoin is not enough.

Instead we have to work out a narrative about why the Johnson Brexit is damaging to Britain - denying next generations rights that their parents enjoyed.

There is not a single example where Brexit has been seen to add value to British citizens as economic actors, social activists, cultural workers.

Bit by bit we have to calmly fashion a story and some lines that Labour Party members can understand and relate to. LME has to be an education project. Not lamenting the past but suggesting ways we can build new bridges to Europe.

I hope I have the experience from a lifetime of writing books, articles, or representing Labour in Europe as minister and through engagement with our sister parties in Europe to make that case.

I have the spare time to get round to CLPs and other party events.

 

Alex Mayer

With gaps on supermarket shelves and rising prices, it is clearer than ever that cutting the UK off from the world's largest Single Market has harmed our economy and made life tougher for the people Labour seeks to represent. But it's now time to lose the tags of remainer, rejoiner or remoaner and face the future. 

In the heat of Brexit turmoil, other Labour European groups sprang up, but the LME is Labour's most established pro-European group. We should set the agenda making the socialist and internationalist case within Labour and trade union movement for closer ties with our nearest neighbours and allies.

I am a former Member of the European Parliament. I've been a Labour Party activist and trade union member for twenty years. I am Chair of my own rural CLP.

My priorities for LME are to build our membership across regions and nations so together we can:

- Campaign: for a closer relationship with the EU

- Inform: so people know the policy agenda in the European Union institutions 

- Win: learn lessons from sister parties such as the SPD's recent electoral success 

- Improve: Labour's European policy through the NPF and Conference resolutions.

And get Keir Starmer into Downing Street.

 

Kenneth Morgan

No statement received.

 

David Poyser

As LME Treasurer for the last six years, I’m proud to say that LME finances have been very healthy all that time. Since I started, we’ve been able to pay for (part-time) consultants for the first time. I inherited a cumbersome system of counter-signed cheques for payments, and (working with membership organiser) the LME can now make quick online payments and provide bank data for the Exec at the flick of a switch.

I am always happy to work on all LME comms issues. As Mayor of Islington I revamped our social media accounts. Prior my current role as Islington councillor, and presenter/producer of the successful EU Employment podcast ‘PESPod’ https://www.pesnetwork.eu/podcast , I worked in comms for the Socialist MEPs in Brussels and Strasbourg (we won a prestigious award), and the British Labour MEPs doing publicity, so I have contributed many articles and a podcast to the LME website, and

The LME should now be ambitious getting as many LME members as we can, representing the massive European voice within our Party, in our GCs, in policy-making, on social media - everywhere.  I am happy working with all sections of our party, uniting us wherever possible, as we campaign for Labour supporting a policy of working ‘ever closer’ with the EU.

After 25 years winning many awards making TV programmes (including the well-respected BBC2 series on the EU) and running programme-making departments in the BBC and ITV, (and winning PR awards for the EU!), I’m pleased to offer my services to LME.

 

Dr Charles Smith

When asked my ethnicity I write “Welsh European”. Through my mother I hold a Spanish passport. My blue British passport lives in a burgundy cover.

I have a masters in UK-European defence policy, and a PhD which compared economic development in Wales and Catalonia.

As a university teacher I ran a popular final year module, “Economics of European Integration”, the type of subversive activity which a now forgotten junior Tory minister suggested should be scrutinised by a brexit inquisition.

I have been a Labour Party member since the mid-1970s, when the majority of members were euro-sceptic. Today, with a europhile membership, the leadership’s fear of mentioning the brexit that dare not speak its name cannot last.

One reason why Wales was the only devolved nation to support brexit was that the Labour Party machine failed to mobilise for the referendum. We need to put that right.

My booklet, “International Trade and Globalisation” sold 20,000+ copies, and was most young economists’ introduction to UK-EU-global economics. Something I could offer the Executive is an ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible way. 

Active on Facebook and Twitter (12000 “followers”). Labour county councillor and cabinet member.

 

Dorothy Smith

I am a partner in a Whitehall-based think-tank, which focusses on public-policy issues at European and UK levels.  A life-long Labour Party member and a pro-European, I have been a member of LME for many years. 

Brexit is not working.  As two-thirds of Labour members voted to Remain in 2016, I believe we should retain UK membership of the EU as a long term objective and support reinstatement of membership of the single market and customs union upon regaining office.

Since the 2016 referendum, I have worked closely with Labour members of the House of Lords, on a personal basis, to oppose Brexit-related legislation such as the EU Withdrawal Act.  I also write articles on European politics and Brexit issues for a regional newspaper.

I have a comprehensive knowledge of policy-making processes at UK and European levels, having worked at the heart of a Labour government for a number of years, including as private secretary to a senior Labour Cabinet Minister, based in the Cabinet Office.  I subsequently spent more than ten years in Brussels working closely with the European Union institutions, including with UK members of the European Parliament and the European Commission.

 

Derek Smythe

Since my National  Service  days in Germany I  have  been  acutely  conscious  of the value of European  unity. My time  at  Manchester  University  reading  Politics  and  Modern  History, my career  in the Brewing  Industry  engaged in marketing  and long-range  forecasting and fifteen years as a Kent County Councillor  reinforced  my conviction  that from a political and business point of view Europe  was where Britain  belonged.

I was an active campaigner in both referendums  and was delighted  to  become  a member  of the LME  and ultimately to join  its Executive. 

Brexit has only served to reinforce my conviction  that we should work towards rejoining the Union however  long  it takes. It is  tragic  that the present government,  for  its own  glorification,  is causing so much damage to our relationship  with  our natural  allies. Never has the work of the LME been more vital.

 

Somir Uddin

I am a Dutch national, living in the United Kingdom 12 years. I joined the labour party 11 years ago and for the last 2 years I have been a part of the Labour Movement for Europe and have been an avid supporter.

Now that Brexit has happened we must campaign the next Labour government to negotiate a closer relationship with the EU and to lay the foundations for the UK to one day re-join the EU.

I believe EU membership is in the UK‘s best interests, and that working across borders is needed to preserve peace, create prosperity, level up workers‘ rights and tackle climate change, coronavirus and tax avoidance.

Human rights organisations have warned that the government’s settled status programme is a ticking timebomb. If just 5% of EU nationals fail to register before the cut-off, 200,000 EU nationals could be left without status.

The government’s EU Settlement Status should be replaced by granting EU nationals in the UK the automatic right to continue living and working here. This would help foster good relations with the European Union and help ensure reciprocal treatment for the 1.3 million UK citizens living in the rest of Europe.

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published this page 2022-02-23 17:15:12 +0000

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