CWU quizzes Labour leadership candidates

The CWU has written to all candidates for the Labour Party Leadership / Deputy Leadership.
The union has asked a series of questions of the candidates, and the responses will form part of what is an extensive democratic process to decide its nominations. This process will include an NEC meeting on January 28 and a branch forum of around 500 delegates on January 30.
UNISON has already backed Keir Starmer for leader (although not all members agree), and Angela Rayner for deputy. Other unions are expected to make their nominations later in the month. This is the latest information we have: USDAW (Jan 20), GMB (Jan 21) and Unite (Jan 24).
The letter reads:

Dear [name of candidate],

Firstly, I wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your re-election to Parliament. I know that you have worked incredibly hard for the labour movement throughout the general election campaign and I want to thank you for your efforts. Though the overall result was devastating for the Labour Party and those who desperately need a Labour government, it is right that we regroup and rebuild our strength for the fight ahead.

As a declared candidate for the position of [Leader/Deputy Leader], I wanted to write to you to set out the Communication Workers Union’s nomination process. We will be holding an extensive democratic engagement with our branches over the coming weeks and it will be this process that ultimately decides who will be nominated for this position by the CWU.

As part of this process, we are writing to all candidates with a series of questions that we would invite you to reply to. The answers to these questions will be used at our National Executive meeting on the 28th January where the Union’s leadership will agree which candidate will be recommended to our branches at a special decision- making forum on the 30th January.

If successfully elected to the position you have applied for, we would like to know:

1. Policy

  • Are you committed to the direction on Labour’s 2017 and 2019 manifestos – are there any specific manifesto policies which you would want to change or amend?
  • Do you support the renationalisation of Royal Mail?
  • Do you support the introduction of a publicly owned national post bank?
  • What are you views on a Labour Party strategy to support our members in the telecoms and financial services industries, including the policy of universal broadband and renationalisation of relevant parts of BT?
  • Are you committed to repealing the existing Trade Union Act and how would you support Trade Union organisation and values being reasserted across the world of work?
  • Given the passing of the withdrawal agreement, how will you respond to the ongoing Brexit negotiations?
  • What would your top 3 priorities be if you were elected as [Leader/Deputy]?

2. Media and Engagement

It is critical in our view that Labour develops a more robust communications and media strategy.

  • How would you improve the overall communications of the Labour Party?
  • How would you use the media to convince the electorate Labour is ready to govern at the next election?
  • How would you increase our influence with the mainstream media?
  • Would you work to grow a new media in the UK?
  • Would you implement a dynamic and engaging social media strategy and what steps would you take to achieve this?

3. The Party

What sort of internal strategy would you pursue regarding the democratisation of the Labour Party? Including;

  • How would you make local CLP meetings more dynamic?
  • How would you involve members and trade unions more?
  • What would your approach to annual conference be?
  • How would you encourage more working class candidates rooted in their communities to stand for parliament?

I know that you will be incredibly busy running your campaign and reaching out to the membership, but we would be grateful to receive your written response to these questions by noon on the 24th January so that we can properly consider your responses. We will be announcing the result of our process at the special decision- making conference on the afternoon of the 30th January.

In solidarity,

Dave Ward

CWU General Secretary

 

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