“The new Young Labour committee has a very clear mandate from the young members of the party, whilst also reflecting the steadily increasing support for socialist policies amongst young people outside of Labour.”
By Fraser McGuire, Chair of East Midlands Young Labour
The results of the Labour Party’s internal elections were announced on September 1st and showed clearly that there is still appetite for genuine socialist ideas within the party. In the Young Labour (YL) elections, the Socialist Future slate won twelve out of sixteen positions on the National Committee, whilst winning a majority on the new Labour Students (LS) committee.
Furthermore, the left-wing candidate for chair of LS received the most first-preference votes in the election but was not elected due to the Single Transferrable Vote system. This shows many LS members are still committed to supporting transformative left-wing policies such as the scrapping of tuition fees, rent controls and genuine action on the climate crisis.
Earlier this year Keir Starmer slashed YL’s funds, cancelled the annual conference for young party members and stopped the YL committee from having access to their Twitter account – effectively censoring them. This was criticised by many young activists as an attack on a democratically elected committee that represents thousands of party members.
The new YL committee has a very clear mandate from the young members of the party, whilst also reflecting the steadily increasing support for socialist policies amongst young people outside of Labour. This unequivocal democratic mandate should provide ammunition for the new committee to fight for the restoration of YL funding and more autonomy. It is significant that the victory of the Left in the YL elections comes despite a considerable number of YL members becoming disillusioned and leaving the party. This goes to show the continuing strength left-wing ideas maintain.
At a time of huge pressures on workers’ pay, driven by accelerating inflation and incompetent government, a key goal for the new leadership of YL over the next two years must be strengthening relationships with Trade Unions and grassroots extra-parliamentary campaigns as this will empower many more young people within our communities.
Let’s fight for a socialist future!
- Fraser McGuire is the Chair of East Midlands Young Labour. You can follow him on twitter here.
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- This article was originally published in print in the Labour Outlook Labour Party Conference Special Edition – you can view it here.