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My position on the Labour Leadership

Many Brent Central constituents have recently contacted me concerning the potential leadership challenge within the Labour Party. I am responding to make clear to you my position as the Labour MP for Brent Central.

I must start by putting on the record it is unfortunate that the Labour Party has conducted itself in this way. I have been so truly shocked by the events that have taken place these past weeks and I truly regret that we are in the situation we now find ourselves.

Following the EU referendum result, I believe the country is critically divided and in need of political leadership.

Many constituents have been in touch to ask how I voted in the ‘no confidence’ motion held recently by the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP). The exact question we were asked is ‘Do you have confidence in Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Labour Party?’ to which I voted ‘Yes’.

I voted yes for two reasons.

Firstly, Jeremy Corbyn became Leader of the Labour Party at a time when the Acting Leader, Harriet Harman, was trying to force MP’s to vote for some of the most draconian legislation that this country has ever seen. The attack on the working classes was palpable and we were supposed to support these measures. I just could not understand the logic. However since Jeremy Corbyn has become Leader I have had no such disagreements with the stance he has taken against the Tories and their legislation. We have fought them at every turn having inflicted heavy defeats and gained concessions on the Trade Union Bill, Housing & Planning Bill, Investigatory Powers Bill. The Government have backed down on devolving Sunday Trading, forced academisation as well as on child refugees in the Immigration Bill.

Having inflicted all of these defeats on the Government, we cannot afford now to allow the Conservative Party and the new Prime Minister free reign in Parliament at such a crucial time. There are people up and down the country struggling under the Conservatives who need a Labour Party holding this Government to account.

Secondly, Jeremy Corbyn was democratically elected as the Leader of the Labour Party with the largest mandate of any Leader in the history of the Labour Party. However it is important to note that although Jeremy’s policies are suitable for the Leader of the Labour Party a Prime Minister does require additional qualities. Any Leader needs to bring its MP’s and the party as a whole along with them and I believe we need to be a strong and effective opposition.

There are people in communities up and down this country who are struggling under this Conservative Government’s savage cuts to public services and welfare spending who need a united Labour Party able to hold the new Conservative Prime Minister to account. So too as we seek to renegotiate our place in Europe following the leave vote in the referendum we have an obligation to the British people to secure the best deal possible.

In my view Theresa May will likely win the Conservative leadership race and will be a robust and powerful leader of her party. The Labour Party cannot be weak and we need all of our Labour MPs working together.

I want to assure you that I am actively speaking to colleagues within Parliament and the trade unions to try and reach an amicable solution which keeps the Labour Party together. Whilst I do not know how these events will unfold in the coming days and weeks I do know that I will continue to argue for calm and party unity. 

Warm Regards,

Dawn

Reactions

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commented 2016-07-11 00:17:58 +0100
Thank you for doing your job, representing the people who got you elected plus all your constituents, but bearing in mind that while us mere members have to put up with whoever we are told to vote for in our constituencies, the PLP (or the majority of it) is in direct contradiction with the wishes of the burgeoning membership of the Labour Party.. if only ‘our’ MPs would talk to us!
commented 2016-07-10 20:54:05 +0100
Dawn, Thank you for supporting democracy and Jeremy Corbyn. It is unfortunate that the PLP rebels have decided to act against the decisions of the party membership in such an underhand way. Please remind them that it’s “one member, one vote” now, and their bullying tactics and Machiavellian machinations have disgusted a lot of voters, and not only LP members. Please stay strong – don’t let a tiny minority of 172 overrule the wishes of the majority quarter million – party unity doesn’t lie that-a-way!
commented 2016-07-09 13:04:59 +0100
Thank you, Dawn, for supporting the democratic will of the party members and supporters that voted for J Corbyn at the Leadership election last year. He won with 59.5% (251,417 which more than all the conservative party members together – they are around 160,000) in a stunning first-round victory that dwarfed even the mandate for Tony Blair in 1994.

Round 1 Labour leadership election result -
Votes: 422,664 | Electorate: 554,272 | Turnout: 76.30%
http://www.labour.org.uk/blog/entry/results-of-the-labour-leadership-and-deputy-leadership-election
commented 2016-07-08 23:48:47 +0100
Thank you, Dawn, for telling us your position on the Labour leadership and for respecting democracy and the wishes of an overwhelming majority of Labour Party members. I am in my 40’s and have very recently become a Labour Party member because of you and Jeremey. You have both shown great leadership and strength under immense pressure. You are true role models for other politicians now and in the future.
commented 2016-07-06 22:26:31 +0100
Thank you. Not only for your time in writing to us all but for your support for this wonderful and principled human being.
commented 2016-07-06 22:08:42 +0100
Thank you Dawn, for working with the elected leader of the Labour Party – could you please chat to the 172 MPs to work with him please – or they will be giving the next election to the Tories… The party membership have voted for them to do this.
commented 2016-07-06 18:15:04 +0100
Thank you Dawn for your considered reply. I am glad you voted ‘Yes’.
commented 2016-07-06 18:13:56 +0100
Excellent: clear, concise and full of hope for a way through the thicket of misunderstandings! Thankyou very much.

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