At the Hustings last night, members present voted to nominate Yvette Cooper for party leader (Jeremy Corbyn was a not too distant second) and Stella Creasy for deputy leader (Tom Watson was a very close second). We used the single transferable vote system to determine the winners.
Our thanks to those who spoke on behalf of the candidates: Andrew Smith MP (for Yvette Cooper and Ben Bradshaw); Ken Livingstone (for Jeremy Corbyn); Parmjit Dhanda (for Andy Burnham); Laura Price (for Stella Creasy); and Duncan Enright (for Liz Kendall and Tom Watson) – all of whom were delegated by the respective campaign teams; and to Judith Wardle (Caroline Flint) and Geoff Saul (Angela Eagle) – who we approached locally to present campaign material. Over 60 members and supporters came, asked probing questions, and contributed to a stimulating and informative debate.
Members may want to take the views of those at the meeting into account when they vote – but of course it remains for members to make their own decision who to vote for in the ballot.
Many congratulations to Laura Price, who on Thursday was elected as Labour Councillor for South Ward on Witney Town Council, coming second in the poll for three seats, and gaining from the Conservatives. Laura is already County Councillor for that Division, and will now join Duncan Enright to make a formidable team, representing the people of Witney, and Labour, on this all too Tory-dominated, inward-looking and complacent Town Council.
Many thanks to all those from across the constituency who helped achieve this result – leafleting, knocking on doors, phoning to encourage Labour supporters to go out to vote, providing a presence for Labour at the polling stations – and to our candidates. After all the efforts for the May elections, it is a tribute that members and candidates were able to find the energy for this short but intensive campaign. It’s great to be winning in Witney!
Members of the CLP assembled yesterday at the home of Chris and Jane Johnson for a celebration – not of victory, alas, but nevertheless a celebration – of the hard work put in over the last months by all members; of the good fight fought by the Town and District Council candidates; and of Duncan Enright’s increase of 3,000 in the parliamentary vote.
Duncan was inspiring and upbeat as always, and the general mood was one of determination to do all we can to mitigate the hardship that will be imposed on the most vulnerable members of our society over the next five years.
A message from Chris Johnson, Chair of Witney CLP, to all members and supporters
There is no escaping the bitterness of our election defeat on Thursday – not least because the scale of it was so unexpected. Shed a tear for Ed Miliband, who grew in stature through his time as leader, and during the campaign, and would have made an excellent PM. And shed one too for our country – when we return to government, we will face an enormous task of rebuilding a decent society for all our citizens, and re-establishing an honourable place for us in the world in partnership with other countries.
Meanwhile we face the task of rebuilding our party and programme. Our analysis of the problems we need to tackle – growing inequality, a capitalism that seems to focus only on the short term to the benefit of a few, an unbalanced economy, a narrow minded view of our place in the world – is surely right. We need to create a new programme from this that the party can unite behind.
Locally, we have some cause for satisfaction. Duncan’s campaign increased our vote by a third, and drew wide admiration. We came a good second in all of our district target seats, and we retained our places on Witney and Chippy Town Councils. But the high turnout meant we lost our district seat in Chippy, despite a well organised and hard working campaign. We have an excellent base from which to build.
So – a warm thank you to all who worked so hard for us: to Duncan and our target seat candidates who made such a great effort; to those who stood in other wards so everyone had the chance to vote Labour; to those who knocked on doors and helped deliver leaflets; to our tellers on the polling stations, our funders and fund raisers. You all worked harder than ever before. Thank you.
LAURA PRICE won for Labour and Cooperative in Witney South and Central on May 2nd. This is the first time in 8 years we have had a Labour County Councillor to represent Witney, Laura will be a great councillor for the people in her division, and a great representative for Labour, Cooperative, and the values we all share. The victory marks another great success for Labour in West Oxfordshire following the three seats gained on the District Council in May 2012.
For more details of Labours successes across the County in the 2013 elections see the OCC website.