“There can be a different future. It’s a future where you invest in public services. It’s a future where you treat people with dignity. It’s a future where you really care about the next generation.” – Keir Starmer MP
Meeting attendees with Keir Starmer ahead of his speech
Following a hectic double whammy of local and General elections, Stevenage Labour Party took a breather on Saturday to reflect on the last five months, look forward to the next set of elections, and discuss the state of Brexit negotiations, with Keir Starmer MP.
Kicking the afternoon off with an election debrief, the fighting spirit was still clearly burning for many after a very positive, if sadly unsuccessful, General Election campaign. With a 9.2% increase in votes for Labour (1.75% swing), the Conservative MP’s majority was slashed to just 3,384 – the best parliamentary result locally since 2005. Lessons learned this time around will be put to good use making our next campaign smarter and stronger, so we can turn Stevenage Labour again.
The focus then turned to the local stage, with current Stevenage Borough councillors and former candidates talking about their experiences of running for office across Stevenage, ahead of our selection processes for 2018. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter for councillors talking about their experiences in local government over the next couple of months, and do get in touch if you want to stand for the Labour Party!
Special guest Keir Starmer, MP for Holborn & St Pancras, and Shadow Secretary for Exiting the European Union, gave an inspiring talk about ending austerity, and his work across Europe as Brexit negotiations continue. Keir’s criticism of Theresa May’s election performance was scathing:
“One of the tragedies of the election is that the result has got the Brexit talks off to the worst possible start. The UK has lost authority because Theresa May has lost authority.”
Keir with Sharon Taylor, leader of Stevenage Borough Council (just one of many selfies with members!)
With Theresa May’s grip on power significantly weakened after the GE, she now needs to “reset her tone and approach” to Brexit negotiations to a more collaborative tone, since she can no longer force through her extreme version of Brexit. In contrast, Labour is taking a larger role in Europe, as the government in waiting Senior Shadow Ministers such as Keir Starmer have been meeting with EU Officials to outline our approach – one that puts people, jobs, and the economy first.
Keir also spoke about the need for Labour to keep campaigning and the additional sense of purpose and unity in the party forged during the General Election:
“We need to step up and really take on the challenge of winning the next election…And we can do it!”
We’re looking forward to welcoming Keir back for our election victory party – whenever that may be 😉!
A huge thanks to all who came on Saturday and took part - the fight continues! Our next All Member meeting will be in September and we’d love to see you there (look out for details in emails to follow).
Members from across North Herts CLPs with Kier Starmer