There are only sixteen days left to vote in the Young Labour 2018 elections.
I am standing as Under-19s Representative on a ballot paper with sixty-two other candidates. The candidate with the most votes wins, so every vote makes a difference.
I joined the Labour Party at fourteen, having been an active local party campaigner since 2010. In the last eight years, the party has undergone an immense transformation. Membership numbers have exploded, giving grassroots members an opportunity to play a significant role in Labour’s next election campaign.
The enthusiasm, excitement and participation of our youngest members and supporters will determine Labour’s success next time. I am eager to encourage more young people to join and campaign for a Labour government.
This is why I am standing in this election.
As a Young Labour member and CLP Youth Officer, I understand the challenges in widening Labour’s appeal. Last year, I was able to represent my CLP as a conference delegate in Brighton. This was the first time I had seen our Labour movement on a national level. The week was busy and interesting, especially for Young Labour delegates and CLP delegates. As a first-time conference attendee however, there were some areas that needed improving.
- Speaking time for Young Labour members on the conference floor – I would encourage for there to be a minimum number of Young Labour speakers to address conference in the main conference hall.
- Jargon – Conference is full of acronyms and rules which are complicated to understand if you are a first time delegate or attendee. It would be helpful for all delegates to receive a booklet/email that outlines what much of the conference terminology means.
- Access for delegates with disabilities – Although there are few places in the UK where Labour can hold a conference of its current size, I did have some concerns about access for delegates and attendees with disabilities.
- CLP support – At conference, it was interesting to note the variation in the number of delegates/attendees that CLPs were sending. Some could afford to send up to nine, whilst others could barely afford to cover the costs of two delegates. This issue must be addressed.
I was grateful for the twenty-four hour phone line which all Young Labour delegates were given before they went to conference. Young Labour delegates could use this phone line throughout their week at conference for any issue they may have. This provided an extra layer of security for first time delegates who may have been travelling/living on their own.
The party’s annual conference is the most exciting part of the year for Labour members. It is therefore, important that all members – particularly our youngest – feel confident and are financially capable of going.