Labour Party Conference started today in Brighton on a note of controversy as delegates challenged the Conference agenda as a result of a large number of constituencies, including Labour International, complaining that their motion had been unreasonably ruled out of order. The report was heavily rejected by the CLP’s but overwhelmingly accepted by the union’s resulting in a narrow acceptance of the report.
The biggest applause of the afternoon was reserved for the General Secretary, Jennie Formby, who despite being in the middle of treatment for breast cancer had made the journey to Brighton to present the NEC report. She received a standing ovation at the end of her speech.
Treasurer’s reports are rarely the highlight of any meeting. However the report that Labour remains debt free and, that despite reports to the contrary and the press, Labour has not had to seek a loan nor has it been refused one. In fact Labour have received some £6 million in donations in the last year. Kate Lacock, from Labour International, intervened to oppose the fact that BP are allowed to have a stand at the conference along with other climate criminals. A view that was widely supported.
The main thrust of speeches from the platform was about getting ready for a General Election and the need to get Labour’s programme over to everybody in the UK.
Dawn Butler highlighted the growth of the far right being enabled by Boris Johnson and the Tory Party and the need to oppose them wherever they raise their head. She highlighted the fact that Labour is building an internationalist agenda in contrast to the right wing nationalism of the Tories and the Lib Dem’s.
Her final points were to announce that Labour, in Government, would introduce policies to deal with problems menopausal women face at work and the attacks 50’s women have seen mounted on their pensions which Labour will reverse.
Whilst LI’s constitutional amendment was not heard our motion on Green New Deal has been accepted for debate and will now be composited with the over 100 similar motions for debate later in the week. And with that day one finished.