At my first Labour Party conference as MP I met with interest groups, charities and spoke at rallies and fringe events. I also spent some time with our brilliant Lewisham East Conference delegation. Thank you very much to them for their hard work to represent the views of the CLP during the conference and particularly at the compositing meeting.
I was very pleased to see the reforms regarding the representation of BAME and disabled members within party structures. I also welcome the motion on Windrush, which commits us to ending the Hostile Environment.
Commitments in Jeremy’s speech to expanding free childcare and the pledge to create 400,000 new ‘green’ skilled jobs rightly received standing ovations.
But arguably the most important issue was Labour’s position on Brexit, as I know it will have been for many of you too.
Our Brexit policy
The motion adopted at conference represents an important step toward a public vote on the final terms of Brexit.
While I understand it was not as clear cut as many will have wanted, we are now in a much more positive position and certainly this would have been unimaginable a year ago.
This is a testament to the hard work of activists across the country, including our own fantastic Lewisham East conference delegation. They have helped represent the views of the many in our CLP, and indeed the constituency, and the leadership is beginning to listen to members and supporters.
But I am clear that this is not enough.
We are now in a position where this Government is asking us to choose between no deal and a bad deal for Britain. A General Election would present a welcome opportunity for Labour to seize control of this chaos, but it is not entirely within our gift to trigger one. The Tories know how fragile their position is.
We now need to be unambiguous in our support for a public vote on the final terms of Brexit, with an option to remain.
The parameters of this debate are shifting. Let’s keep going.