Labour First

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Interest ofLuke Akehurst

Labour First is a network which exists to ensure that the voices of moderate Labour Party members are heard while the party is kept safe from the organised hard left, and those who seek to divert us from the work of making life better for ordinary working people and their families.[1]

Beliefs

Labour First believes in:

  • Putting Labour First: Keeping the Labour Party as a party of Government with mainstream and election winning policies.
  • The Trade Union Link: The unions are an integral part of our party.
  • Strong Local Government: More power for local councillors not unaccountable community groups and quangos. Councillors deserve a strong voice within our party.
  • Security for the UK: The UK playing a full role in the EU and NATO and maintaining our special relationship with the USA. We oppose unilateral nuclear disarmament.

Priorities

Labour First's absolute priority is to return Labour to power and elect the largest possible number of Labour MPs and councillors.

Everyone involved in Labour First is first and foremost an active campaigner for a Labour victory. We put our party above any internal faction or current of opinion, hence the name “Labour First”.

Our interventions in internal debates, elections and selections are all with the objective of making Labour a party with the policies and candidates and office holders best suited to returning it to power.[2]

Definitions

Luke Akehurst defines:

The “Hard Left” is a self-definition adopted by the Bennite left in the mid-1980s to differentiate themselves from the older “Soft Left” which they saw as making too many compromises with people like us! In parliament the Campaign Group for Labour Democracy is "Hard Left" and the Tribune Group is "Soft Left" whilst most of our supporters are in the Clause I group of MPs. We believe the "Hard Left" would damage national security through their opposition to nuclear deterrence and their ambivalent stance towards NATO; that they are reluctant to address issues around immigration in any meaningful way; and their economic stance is not credible as it veers towards a command economy.[3]

Affiliated to the Labour Party?

Luke Akehurst replies:

No we are not eligible to affiliate. Affiliated status is for trade unions and socialist societies, which usually represent an interest group such as members of a particular faith background or with a specific policy area they focus on, not a particular political stance. Groups like Labour First, Progress, Open Labour, Compass, Momentum, CLPD or LRC that campaign for the party to go in a particular political direction can’t affiliate.[4]



References