English Labour Party needed to emulate Welsh Labour’s success says report
An English Labour Party is needed to emulate the success of Welsh Labour, a report by a Labour Party group with close links to Keir Starmer has said.
Labour Together’s report, Labour’s Covenant, offers an answer to the question of what the party should stand for as it heads into the next Westminster General Election.
The report, which draws on evidence from over 100 policy advisers, academics, journalists and think tank experts, along with Labour mayors, councillors and MPs, suggest following Welsh Labour’s lead and giving the Labour Party in England a stronger national identity.
“Voters recognise that they have stood up for the places they represent,” the report says.
“But first Labour has to recognise that it is a party of England as well as Scotland and Wales and it must speak to voters who identify as English.
“Only an English Labour Party can embrace the growing strength of an English local, regional and national politics.
“The party in Wales has shown how to combine national sentiment and Labour politics.”
The report adds: “Only in Wales and the English Mayoralties is Labour a successful political force.”
The report also praises Welsh Labour’s cooperation agreement with Plaid Cymru as an example to English regions of how Labour could work with other parties to devolve power to a local level.
“England has the most centralised form of government and has gone furthest in removing powers from local democratic influence,” the report says. The Scottish Government has also centralised away from local councils.
“Creating local power and capacity building will need an all-encompassing shift in governance and a cultural change in Whitehall. Departmental silos must be broken down by the establishment of a coherent machinery of government for England.
“The agreement between Labour in Wales and Plaid Cymru provides an example of collaboration between different parties in attempts to devolve power and create a more joined-up approach to government.”
Writing on LabourList, Labour MP Jon Cruddas said that two of the aims of the report were to suggest ways of reforming the central state and the union of the UK, and creating strong local economies and communities.
“This devolution of resources and power in England must be part of a constitutional change in which English laws are made by English MPs and an English democratic polity is recognised,” he said.
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