Alan Aitkenhead
Branch Development Officer

I’m the new elected LICC Branch Development Officer, and one of my roles is to support LI contacts, groups and current branches, to help them develop further by supporting and offering advice. I also believe it’s vital that members themselves decide how they want to organise, and at a pace that that suits them.

At this time, I am involved with a few groups, and branches, and supporting them by attending their meetings, to offer advice, and the most important aim is to make sure that every member in Labour International, is covered by a group or a branch, so that no member feels isolated. I will be shortly arranging meetings with branch secretaries and group contacts, to find out what your needs are.

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Joe BilsboroughJoe Bilsborough
Assistant Campaign Manager

I am Joe Bilsborough: I’m 25, and currently living in Copenhagen, Denmark. I moved here in August 2015 to study an MA in literature and have stuck around since graduating last year. I snuck into university in 2011, the final year of 3k fees, reading my BA at Leeds, and have always been interested in and involved in left politics, not least as a result of escaping debilitating debt through the sheer luck of when I was born. I’m looking forward to working with Ian and all of you!

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Ian Hollingworth
Assistant Campaign Manager

I’m a retired maths teacher living in Thailand, married with two daughters. I taught for 35 years in a variety of comprehensive schools in London, starting in Islington just before Jeremy Corbyn became an Islington MP. I’ve always been member of the NUT (now NEU), holding the position of school rep or health and safety rep for most of my career. I look forward to working closely with Joe on campaign strategy.

Joint statement with Joe: We need to plan our strategy to be able to respond to government and local elections whenever they are called. Many Tories think the last campaign was too long and disadvantaged the incumbent, therefore it is wise to prepare on the basis of a short campaign. Attacks on the leadership should be anticipated and counter-arguments prepared in advance. Individual party activists will be targeted in social media but we should avoid any abusive responses, instead focusing on promoting Labour Party policy. We need to speak to people’s lives and their struggles, which means a narrative strategy that is unambiguous and avoids jargon. At LI we can:

  • Prepare material on key issues like health and housing for instant distribution at election time.
  • Mobilise our members to help with phone campaigning.
  • Liaise with UK CLPs to help campaign on the ground if possible, and for assistance with proxy voting for LI members.
  • Set up groups to identify and research borderline seats.

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Adam FordAdam Ford
Education and Training Officer

My formative years were the 80s and 90s in Handsworth, Birmingham, a very working-class, multicultural area, which decisively shaped my politics. I was active during my teens in a variety of environmental and political campaigns, but was put off joining the Labour Party by its treatment of my father, a long-time member and activist. I went to Sheffield University where I was politically active around the Iraq war, environmental issues, homelessness, anti-racism, and as a trade union rep.

Recently I’ve been involved with anti-fascist groups such as “hope not hate” since I see this as the biggest current threat. As a member of Unite, I was able to vote in the two leadership elections with Jeremy Corbyn but I only fully joined the party the day after the EU referendum, when I felt the country chose out-and-out racism rather than the economy. Since then I’ve been active in my local branch, Hillsborough, before moving to Malaysia with my wife, who teaches at an international school.

I hope that in my education and training role I can help build a strong, active and knowledgeable community, to help create a fair and just society, for the many, not just the few.

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Matt Heaney
Education and Training Officer

I joined Dagenham Labour Party aged 15 after helping in a by-election in which the BNP leader retained his deposit for the first time. There I helped build a socialist and active Young Labour group during the early ‘New Labour’ period. After leaving school I moved to Germany, where I joined the SPD Young Socialists and the agricultural/building workers’ union IG BAU. I have been an elected workers’ representative for the service union Ver.di and am now employed as an academic assistant in a trade union adult education institution in Frankfurt.

As a socialist and democrat I believe strongly that while education isn’t everything in politics, without education, knowledge and history, we are on the road to nowhere. If we are to make the future a better one, Labour’s current rejuvenation needs a grounding in our past and present.

I see my role as not primarily to “provide education” but more to enable members to educate each other. We should use technology – videoconferencing, reading material / books, online forums etc – to empower members and to convince others to vote Labour and to join LI. I am a member of the LRC (Labour Representation Committee, president: John McDonnell) as well as socialist societies such as Labour Humanists or LGBT Labour. I look forward to working and cooperating – and learning – with many members from across our ‘broad church’, as well as with my job-share comrade Adam Ford, for the common goal of a socialist, democratic world, in which people come before profit and we can all achieve our human potential without want, violence, fear or prejudice.


Katy Tyrrell McCaffertyKaty Tyrrell McCafferty
Disability and Carers Officer

I’m originally from Tower Hamlets and joined the Labour Party aged 14, a birthday present from my big brother. I worked in local government for Newham Council in the housing dept and was an activist in NALGO/Unison and vice chair of the branch. I met my Irish husband in 1999 and moved to Donegal the same year. I have 2 boys and 3 dogs one of which is a Working Autism Assistance Dog.

I remain politically active in Ireland in community campaigning but life took a different route in 2005 when my eldest son was diagnosed with autism and learning disability and a lot of my activity was based in the disability movement. My second son was also diagnosed with autism and ADHD in 2013. I also had significant health problems myself, including mental health issues. So I’ve been both a service user and a carer.

I founded the local Autism Support Group and was the Donegal representative for the Special Needs Parents Association. I’ve done voluntary advocacy work for other parents. I also speak at colleges to give a parent’s viewpoint to students. I talk to school students about autism and the work of assistance dogs. I’ve also had some input into the Labour manifesto on autism. In 2016 I help set legal precedent on access legislation for working service dogs after a legal challenge. I want to make sure Labour Party activism is accessible to all and think we in LI can make a positive contribution to that.

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Gaya SriskanthanGaya Skriskanthan
BAME Officer

Gaya is based in Brooklyn, New York and works on climate change action. Through her freelance work, she collaborates on a range of different projects with indigenous peoples’ networks, organisations promoting energy co-operatives, local black-led community groups in Brooklyn, and the UN. Her work focuses on supporting communities on the frontline of climate change to lead in climate solutions.

Gaya has been a member of the Labour Party for over a year. She is encouraged by recent shifts to re-understand how to achieve social and economic justice through party politics in the face of a system that is failing to serve the majority. She hopes to bring her experience in democratic inclusion in the context of climate action to her role as BAME Officer.

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Mark WhileyMark Whiley
LGBT Officer

After a hiatus from politics, I joined the Labour Party in 2015 after the leadership election had been called. Previously I had been active in campaigns to prevent tuition fee rises; lobbying elected Liberal Democrats against the Health and Social Care Bill; and participating in several demonstrations including the March for the Alternative with Reading-based trade unionists and socialists, London Climate Change Marches, and the demonstration on the night of the Same Sex Marriage Bill alongside Peter Tatchell. My journey of political awareness started with opposition to the Iraq War at school, then identifying with Brian Paddick as a political and personal role model, to organising LGBT+ fundraising events and Pride activities, and finally finding a home in the Labour Party.

My politics is to empower communities to feel they are part of the state, for strong public services and for disciplined markets where employers and unionised workers are on an equal footing.

I hope that I can serve LGBT+ members well with: expertise in campaign organisation and membership development from party roles I’ve held in the past; listening to your experiences and both be an advocate and help to promote those voices within the party; interest and awareness of issues affecting the LGBT+ community; and utilising my creative and networking abilities along with digital marketing strategy and awareness of technologies in this field.

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