In September 2015, Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party with 251,000 votes (60% of the total) giving him the largest personal mandate of any British political party leader, ever.
During that election, Jeremy Corbyn had the backing of UNISON, following the normal and proper nomination procedures of the union, which included a consultative ballot of all UNISON members who pay into the Affiliated Political Fund (APF). This was because Jeremy Corbyn’s policy manifesto most closely matched UNISON’s key objectives for a fairer society, with an end to unnecessary austerity and properly funded public services.
Despite this, it has been evident from the start that a large number of the Parliamentary Labour Party would refuse to accept both the leadership and policy of Jeremy Corbyn. We now find ourselves facing a second Labour leadership election within a year, after the well-documented coup attempt of recent weeks failed.
You can have your say in this leadership election. And here’s how:
- All members and retired members of UNISON West Sussex who had APF membership prior to January 12th 2016 will get a vote. Voting will not cost you anything. But you must also register to get a ballot paper on the Labour Party website before August 8th.
- All members of the branch who are members of the Labour Party (prior to January 12th 2016) will get a vote.
- The 2-day window to apply for registered supporter status has now closed. But if you registered in time, you will get a vote subject to completion of membership checks conducted by the national Labour Party office.
Jeremy Corbyn is a UNISON member and a former NUPE official with a lifetime track record of supporting public services and trade unionism. UNISON nominated him last year, and our General Secretary Dave Prentis has said that Corbyn’s agenda is UNISON’s agenda.
General Secretary Dave Prentis and UNISON President Wendy Nicholls reaffirmed our support for Jeremy Corbyn at National Delegate Conference in June and again at the National Labour Link Forum in July. It is highly anticipated that we will back him again.
On Wednesday 20th July the West Sussex branch committee met and unanimously affirmed its support for Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.
But if Labour is to represent working people, and not the quite different interests of 172 parliamentarians, we need you to get involved.
UNISON West Sussex members who can are strongly encouraged to take part in the APF consultation and to vote in the Labour leadership election.
Sarah Cawston, Branch Labour Link Officer
Ian Harvey, Branch Chair
Dan Sartin, Branch Secretary
Ruby Cox, Retired Members Secretary