Labour offers the hope of change people want

18 February 2019

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has spoken out after the news that Chuka Umunna and six other MPs will now sit as independents.


‘I regret that seven MPs have decided they no longer wish to represent their constituencies in Parliament as Labour MPs, especially as that was how they were elected. On a Labour ticket at a general election that inspired millions to vote Labour and saw the party increase its vote by the largest share since 1945.


‘Their decision to walk out into the political wilderness – remember the fate of the SDP? – is sad, but not unexpected. The Labour Party’s membership has grown enormously under Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party’s genuinely socialist manifesto was incredibly popular at the last election.


‘The party’s policies offer the hope of change that people in Britain want. We are a broad church, and now is the time for all Labour MPs to unite behind the leadership in order to win the next election and the bring about the type of society the country is crying out for.


‘Because the truth is that the Labour Party is, as it has been since it was founded by the trade unions to represent ordinary hard-working people in Parliament more than 100 years ago, and as it always will be, the greatest force for progress in this country.’

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