Defend the Link

Following various conversations with labour movement activists at Tolpuddle the following campaign statement has been launched by the Labour Representation Committee, but with the aim of putting the campaign in the hands of a broad organising committee once significant support has been won.

There will be a meeting to discuss the campaign on the 3rd September 7pm, at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London with speakers including Keith Ewing,Manuel Cortes General Secretary TSSA, Maria Exall, Marshajane Thompson as well as other initial signatories below.


“The creation of the Labour Party opened up the possibility of political representation for working class people.

The relationship between the trade unions and the Party has been and remains central to the role of the Party in representing the interests of working people.

We therefore support:

– the collective affiliation of trade unions to the Party;
– collective decision making by trade unionists within the Party;
– representation for, and involvement of, trade unions at every level of the Party.

We will campaign for this throughout the Party and trade unions and call on all labour movement activists to make submissions to the Collins review in accordance with the above principles.”

Bakers’, Food & Allied Workers Union
Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association

Manuel Cortes, General Secretary, TSSA
Ian Hodson National President Bakers’, Food & Allied Workers Union
Roger McKenzie, Assistant General Secretary, UNISON

Prof Bill Bowring, Birkbeck College, Colchester CLP, member of UCU, former surcharged Lambeth Councillor, International Secretary of Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
Professor Keith Ewing, Institute of Employment Rights and Trade union freedom campaign
Professor Gregor Gall, Professor of Industrial Relations, University of Bradford
Owen Jones, Independent columnist

Diane Abbott MP
Dave Anderson MP
Katy Clarke MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Neil Findlay MSP
Ian Lavery MP
John McDonnell MP
Linda Riordan MP

Andrew Berry, National Labour Link Committee, UNISON
Maria Exall CWU and TUC General Council
Bernadette Gallagher, UNISON NEC, Labour Party Member and officer Bolton NE CLP
Alex Halligan – Chair Unite National Youth Committee, Young Labour National Committee
Pete Keenlyside, CWU National Exec
Martin Mayer, Labour NEC member, UNITE Exec Council member for Passenger Transport; President Sheffield Trades Council
Seán McGovern, Unite Executive Council, TUC General Council
Jon Rogers, UNISON NEC
Beryl Shepherd, Vice President CWU
Darren Williams, National Policy Forum member – Welsh CLPs, GC/EC member, Cardiff West CLP & vice-chair, Canton BLP, Secretary, Welsh Labour Grassroots, Acting Wales Secretary, PCS union (pc)
John Wiseman, Labour NPF, National Political Committee Unite, Convenor, President St. Helens trade council,and vice chair St. Helens South and Whiston CLP

Amble Ucatt branch North East
Islington UNISON
UNISON NW region LGBT Group.

Cllr Lynne Allen, London Borough of Hillingdon
Andy Bain,TSSA, Treasurer,Islington Hands Off Our Public Services Chair,TSSA Network Rail North London branch Chair
Eryka Bancroft, Islington UNISON Convenor Public protection
Francis Banks, CWU Branch Secretary
Eileen Best Co Convenor UNISON NW LGBT Group
George Binette, Camden UNISON Branch Secretary (pc)
Councillor Barry Buitekant, Haggerston Ward,London Borough of Hackney
Mark Catterall, Labour member of Todmorden Town Council, Unison steward
Terry Clark, UCATT Political Network Coordinator North East
Linda Clarke, Islington South TULO and University Professor
Marian Craig, Scottish Young Labour Committee
Cllr Rob Crew, Exeter
Stan Crooke, Glasgow Shettleston CLP and Unite Scotland Region Political Committee
Cllr Peter Curling, Hillingdon. Unison & Unite
Dave Dash, Full-Time Official for the Bakers, Food & Allied Workers’ Union
Councillor Peter Davies
Simon Deville, Secretary, Birkbeck Unison and Walthamstow CLP
Jane Doolan, Islington UNISON Branch Secretary
David Drew, Labour & Coop PPC for Stroud
Andrei Dudau, Unite Branch Secretary and Poole CLP
Steve Elsey, Branch Sec Staffordshire UNISON
Pete Firmin, Trade Union Liaison Officer, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP and chair, Brent TUC
Sean Fox Haringey UNISON Joint Branch Secretary & Mitcham & Morden CLP
Matthew Fulton, Labour Party Organiser, Norwich North (pc)
John Garvani, Pudsey CLP TULO Officer, Unite Regional Committee, Regional Political Committee, Regional & National Industrial Sector Committees
Mick Gilgunn, UCATT Political Network London&SE Region Coordinator, Secretary Islington Trades Union Council, Islington North CLP Executive member
Raj Gill, Ealing & Acton CLP/Unite Branch Equality Officer/Ealing TUC Vic-Chair
Val Graham Chesterfield CLP TULO Officer
Robin Hanford, Students With Disabilities Officer, Ruskin College Students’ Union
Derek Hansford, Bexhill&Battle CLP TULO, Hastings & District Trades Council Vice-Chair, CWU and CLPD member
Gary Heather, Trade Union Liaison Officer Islington North Labour Party
Gary Hewson, Lincoln City Councillor, Unite Retired Members Section
David Hide, Chair Horsham CLP
Christine Hulme, Chair, Slough CLP
Diana James, Assistant Branch Secretary Islington UNISON
Councillor Len Junier, Middlesbrough Council
Stan Keable, Secretary, Labour Party Marxists, Hammersmith & Fulham Local Govt Unison Labour Link Officer, delegate to Hammersmith CLP
Linda Kietz, Chair CWU West London Branch
Jonathan Lee, UNISON Hastings and Eastbourne Healthcare branch, Hastings & District Trades Council and TULO for Hastings & Rye Constituency Labour Party.
Phil Lewis, Camden UNISON Labour Link Officer
Douglas Lock, Chair Christchurch Constituency LP
Mary Lockhart, number 3 on Scottish Labour’s European list
Ian Malcolm-Walker, Bournemouth UNISON Labour Link Officer
Pat Markey, Northampton South CLP/ Ass Sec Northampton Trades Council
Andrew Maybury, Dudley General UNISON Labour Link Officer and Branch Secretary
Ray McHale, Ellesmere Port & Neston CLP. Vice Chair of West Cheshire TUC
Liam McNulty, London Young Labour Committee
Mike McGrath, Chair – Thornbury & Yate CLP, Secretary Unite Bristol IT & Comms Branch.
Cllr Jeff McGough, Spennymoor Town Council & Bishop Auckland CLP.
Terry McPartlan, Gateshead LG UNISON Labour Link Officer (pc)
Rory Macqueen, LSE Unison steward and Islington North CLP
Cllr Greg Marshall, Broxtowe Borough Council
Lynne Moffat, Islington UNISON, Convenor Social Services
Fiona Monkman, Islington UNISON Branch Chair
Keir Morrison, National Youth & Apprentice Organiser UCATT
Pauline Nazir, BFAWU organising Regional Secretary
Daniel Nichols, Chair Romford CLP and UNISON LFEPA Labour Link Officer
David O’Mara, Unison Steward LFEPA Croydon
Cllr Mick O’Sullivan Islington North CLP
Cllr Brian Murphy, Lochaber and Badench CLP
Jago Parker, Chair, Halifax CLP
Mike Pevitt, branch secretary Swinton North
Colin Penfold, Chair, Llanidloes Labour Party
Mike Phipps, Chair, Kensal Green branch Labour Party, CLPD executive member and LRC National Committee member
Laurie Pocock, UNISON Branch Sec Croydon
Susan Press, LRC Vice-Chair and Chair Calder Branch Labour Party
Ross Quinn, Wallasey TULO, President Wirral TUC
Pete Radcliffe, Secretary, Broxtowe CLP (pc)
Cllr Joe Riches, Chair, City of York Council Labour Group
Dereck Roberts UNITE LP CLP Delegate, CLP Treasurer
Cllr Mike Rowley, Oxford East CLP
Nicola Seyd, CWU branch delegate Holborn & St Pancras CLP and Camden Campaign Forum, member Bloomsbury & Kings Cross Labour Party, Assistant Secretary Camden Trades Council
Sonita Singh Islington UNISON shop steward
Dave Smith, chair 302/25 branch of Unite and TULO officer, Heeley CLP, Sheffield
Callum Stanland, Political Education Officer, Grimsby CLP and UNITE
Dave Statham, President GMB Holborn and treasurer Brent TUC
David Suddards, BFAWU Branch Secretary
John Sweeny, UCATT East of England Political Coordinator
Mike Tippett, Labour Link Officer, Leeds Teaching hospitals, Y+H region, Unison
Cllr Patrick Vernon, London Borough of Hackney
Claire Wadey, Secretary, Withdean Labour Party (pc)
and Chair, Sussex LRC
Councillor Lee Waker, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, Political Officer, East London Postal Branch, CWU
James Wand, Broxtowe CLP Youth Officer
Kevin Ward Middlesex Uni UNISON Labour Link Officer
Cllr Gary Wareing, Hull CC. ASLEF. East Hull CLP TULO
Mark Wareham, UNISON Salisbury Health Labour Link Officer and Health Group Executive (pc)
Cllr John White, London Borough of Barking & Dagenham
Ian Woodland Southampton Itchen CLP TULO Officer and Unite

Riyad Abboushi, West Berkshire LP
John Airs NUT (retired), Unite Community, Compass & People’s Assembly Merseyside
Joan Anniballi, UNISON, SW Surrey CLP
Ed Armston, New Forest East CLP
Malcolm Ball,Bolsover CLP &Chesterfield Unite Community
Rev Hazel Barkham, SW Wiltshire CLP
Mick Barry, Brighton Kemptown CLP
Max Bell, Scunthorpe CLP
Kevin Bennett, UNITE
Ruth Berry, Islington North CLP
Bill Bilton, UNISON, Lincoln CLP
Lin Black, Labour Party and Musicians Union Member
Katharine Bligh, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
Dave Brinson, NUT NEC and Eastbourne CLP (pc)
Ernie Boost, Member of Cranleigh Labour Party,SMA.CLPD.PPU.
A Botham ASLEF, Derbyshire Dales CLP
Steve Brown, Wansbeck CLP, UNISON
Kate Browne, PCS, Hastings and Rye CLP
Steven Brownjohn, Hackney North & Stoke Newington CLP and UNISON
Tony Byrne Newark CLP ASLEF and RMT
Michael Calderbank, Brent Central CLP and convenor Brent LRC
Mike Calvert, Tottenham CLP and Islington UNISON
Jon Paul Carr, North West Durham CLP and UNITE
Robert Charleson, Bolton S.E. CLP
F Chasfclaz, CWU, USDAW
Anne Cherry, UNISON steward, Leeds Labour Party
Linda Clarke, Islington South
Andrew Coates, Unite and Ipswich & District Trades Council
Davidjohn Cornes, Fiddleford, Dorset
Mick Costello, NUJ, UCU and Communist Party
Brian Coupland, CWU Merseyside and SW Lancs Branch
Paul Critchley, UNITE
Jack Darrant, Young Labour, Compass, The Political Idealist
Tom Davies, Walthamstow CLP
Danielle Daw, Hastings and Rye CLP
George Deacon Norwich South CLP
Jim Denham, Birmingham Selly Oak CLP and Unite
James Doran, Darlington CLP
Gerry Downing Brent Trades Union Council and LRC
A Downeley, ASLEF
Maggie Dunn, UNISON, Islington N CLP
Graham Durham, LRC London Organiser and Unite
Alan Durrant TU Tutor Unite / GMB
Simeon Elliott, Brighton & Hove DLP, Sussex LRC, NUT
Chris Ellison, UNISON and Labour Party
Barry Ewart, North West Leeds Labour Party and LRC
Pam Field, Labour Party, and Think Left
Ben Folley, Islington North CLP
Nancy Flynn, former President of Unison, Chair of the Affiliated Political Committee of Unison for several years and former Labour Party National Executive Committee member
Mark Gallagher Rutherglen CLP
Brian Gardner, Hackney UNISON and Islington South CLP
Pete Gilman, Unite Community and Islington South CLP
Stuart Grice UCATT Loughborough branch UE100
Jonathan Grisdale, Unite
Richard Hanford, Wealden CLP
Tom Harris, GMB, Devon N CLP
George Hathaway, Unite and Mitcham & Morden CLP
Keith Henderson, former GMB Regional Organiser & Clacton CLP Secretary
Mick Hildrith, GMB taxi section
Jim Hiom Milton Keynes
Gill Kennet, UNISON
David Kirk – Chair Leeds LRC, Unite and Leeds West CLP
John Kreeger, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich CLP, NUT and UCU
John Ivor Lewis, Gower CLP
Martyn Lewis, GMB London region
Gerry Loughery, Glasgow Cathcart CLP
Marie Lynam, GMB, LRC
Gerard Lyons, Waltham Forest Branch LRC
Ian McDonald, Preseli Pembrokeshire CLP
Vin McIntyre, Durham CLP
Steve Mckenzie – Unite and Erith and Thamesmead Labour Party
Paul McLean, Leeds NE CLP
Barnabas-Francis MacPhail, Labour Party Member, Tower Hamlets
Hazel Malcolm Walker, Bournemouth W CLP
Derek Maylor, NW CWU Safety Forum
David Melvin, Unite and Stalybridge and Hyde CLP
Russell Miller, Beckenham CLP
Tom Miller, Brent Central CLP
Alan Milne, Wirral West CLP
Vicki Morris, NUJ and Nottingham East CLP
Duncan Morrison, Lewisham Deptford CLP and Lewisham NUT
M Murfin, Unite Community
M Murphy, Unite Community, Scunthorpe CLP (pc)
Gordon Nardell QC – Islington North CLP and UNITE, former councillor in London Borough of Southwark
Arvind Parmessur, Walthamstow CLP and UNITE
Mick Patrick, UNITE, Harlow CLP
Ray Physick, Bootle CLP
John Pickard, Brentwood and Ongar CLP
Dr Tomasz Pierscionek LRC, BMA, editor of the London Progressive Journal
Dawn Poole, Hatings and Rye CLP
Cliff Prenton, Wentworth and Dearne CLP and Unite
Dermot Rathbone. Hull LRC, UNITE, Co Op Party, Haltemprice and Howden CLP
Mick Reed Unite
Joe Reeder, UNITE, Castlepoint CLP
Marigold Rogers, Brighton Pavilion CLP and NUT (retired)
Peter J D Savage, LRC and UNITE (retired) member
Andrew Scarborough, Wellingborough CLP
Paul Scheley UNITE
Mark Seddon, Buckingham CLP, ex Labour Party NEC and Editor of Tribune
Helen Searle, Edinburgh Southern CLP
Max Shanly, Young Labour Regional Representative, South East
Kit Snape, member of Finchley and Golders Green Labour Party & Unison
Carl Spiby Forest of Dean CLP & Editorial Committee member Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Clarion magazine
Ian Sternberg Harwell & District Branch Wantage Constituency Labour Party
Paul Stygal, CWU
Paul Swift, Broxtowe CLP & GMB
Dave Sykes, Unite Community Member, Labour Member, M4C member. Active Community Volunteer
Wally Tavener. Unite SE/218 & Havant CLP
John Taylor Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland CLP
Carole Thoma, SW Surray CLP
Martin Thomas, Islington South and Finsbury CLP
Marshajane Thompson, UNISON and LRC Vice Chair
Bob Thomson, past Chairman/Treasurer, Scottish Labour Party Terence Thomson LRC
Glyn Tudor – Southampton Itchen CLP & Unite
Ian Waites UCU
Andy Walker, USDAW
Clair Watmore, UNITE
Keith Wendell, UNITE, Brighton Pravilion CLP
Ed Whitby, Newcastle City Unison and Newcastle East CLP
Geoff Wibon, Brighton Kemptown CLP
Mathew Willgress, UNITE, Islington North CLP
Rob Wilkinson, Labour Party member and CLP Secretary (2010-2012), Pudsey CLP
Michael Williams, NUT
Mike Williams, Cwmtillery Ward, Blaenau Gwent CLP
Stephen Wood, Hull LRC, Hull West & Hessle CLP
Andrew Woodman, Unison
Sarah Woolley, BFAWU

Graham Bash Chair Labour Briefing
Ian Ilett, Labour Briefing and LRC
Jon Lansman, Editor, Left Futures and Campaign for Labour Party Democracy Executive.
Vince Mills, Chair Campaign for Socialism (Scotland)
Norette Moore LRC exec
Gerrard Sables, Secretary, North Devon CPB
Ben Sellers Red Labour
Jackie Walker LRC Exec

Campaign For Labour Party Democracy
Labour Representation Committee

Sue Ainslie
Sarandip Singh Batt
Dave Beadle
Tony Beddow
Ruth Bennie
Mike Bird
Pat Byrne
Jean Bulcher
Dawn Butler
John Calderon
Thomas Callaghan
Pauline Cant
Dorothy Cook
Lewis Coyne
Darrall Cozens
Joseph Crocker
Robert Crosby
Glynn Davies
George Durack
Nick Durrant
Rick Evans
Andrew Fisher
Paul Flint
Ian Flintoff
Paul France
Nancy Frankel
Vicky Grandon
Calum Hawthorne
Raja Hussain
Rob Illingworth
Nick Jackman
Joern Janssen
Ruth Jones
Alun Llewelyn
Michael Lynch
Barnabas-Francis MacPhail
Sandy MacPherson
Josephine Maltby
Alan Milne
Dave Mitchelmore
Julia Mountain
Carole Newton
Adisa Nicholson
Neil Parry
Rod Parker
Lauretta Pearson
Lester Pendrey
Martin Pidd
Chris Preston
Jack Preston
Matthew Rawlings
Glan Richards
Ted Ryder
Val Seabright
Mick Sidaway
Keri Stephenson
Gloria Tanner
Kevin Thompson
D Trangmar
Alec Turner
Cate Tuitt
Cathy Watson
George White
Geoff Williams
Joanna Wilson
Pam Wortley

If you would like to add your signature to this statement, or host a meeting in your area, then please comment on this post.


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249 responses to “Defend the Link”

  1. Angela Moohan says :

    Labour needs to have a stronger and clearer message and policy base for ordinary working people that’s what will make us stronger, not joining in the race to the bottom, being led by global corporations and their Tory friends.

  2. Huw Jones says :

    SE Cambs CLP will meet 3/12/13 to discuss the link. We’d be grateful to a speaker from Defend the Link

  3. Ross Quinn says :

    Ross Quinn
    Wallasey TULO
    President Wirral TUC

  4. Greg Marshall says :

    Please add my name – Cllr Greg Marshall, Broxtowe Borough Council

  5. Gregor Gall says :

    My analysis of unions’ responses to Ed Miliband’s proposed reforms to the union-Labour link:

  6. Anne Cherry, UNISON Steward, Labour Party Member, Leeds says :

    Please add my name. This is too important to back down on.

  7. Kevin Thomson says :

    Please add my name, Kevin Thomson.

  8. Karlos the unhappy jackyl says :

    Carl Spiby (Forest of Dean CLP & Editorial Committee member Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Clarion magazine)

    Please add my name.

  9. Cllr. Brian Murphy, Highland Council and Ross, Lochaber and Badenoch CLP says :

    Please add my name

  10. Callum Hawthorne says :

    The Labour-Union link is essential for democratic participation.

  11. Dave Brinson says :

    I would like to sign. Dave Brinson, NUT NEC and Eastbourne CLP (pc)

  12. Mike McGrath says :

    I support the statement, without the Trades Unions there will be no ‘Labour@ in the Labour Party.
    Mike McGrath, Chair – Thornbury & Yate CLP, Secretary Unite Bristol IT & Comms Branch.

  13. Carole Newton says :

    The funding from the unions is democratically agreed by union members. Funding of other political parties by companies is not democratic and means, in effect, that all consumers are forced to pay a levy to political parties they oppose. We should not be defensive about our links with, and support from, the unions. Keep the link.

  14. Ian Waites says :

    Unions are the front line against the kinds of flagrant worker exploitation that’s sadly on the increase now – to form any effective resistance against this, Labour needs to be unashamedly cementing links with the unions, not undermining them. Please add my name to the statement: Ian Waites, UCU member, University of Lincoln.

  15. thomas says :

    Thomas Callaghan

  16. Prof Bill Bowring says :

    Please add my name – Prof Bill Bowring, Birkbeck College, Colchester CLP, member of UCU, former surcharged Lambeth Councillor, International Secretary of Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

  17. Matt Hill says :

    Please add my name to this.

  18. Rob Illingworth says :

    I could never be a member of the party if the link was removed. Rob Illingworth, Nottinghamshire teacher.


    Ernie Boost .Member of Cranleigh Labour Party,SMA.CLPD.PPU.

    I whole heartedly support ”THE LINK” whithout it the LABOUR PARTY
    will no longer support the working class.

  20. Chris ellison says :

    Chris ellison – unison and Labour Party member

  21. Gerry Loughery says :

    Please add my name. Gerry Loughery Glasgow Cathcart CLP

  22. m murfin says :

    add me plse . Unite Community, N. Lincs

  23. Linda Riordan MP says :

    Please add my name/support to the statement. Thank you.

    Linda Riordan MP

  24. Jeff McGough says :

    Please add my name to the statement: Cllr Jeff McGough, Spennymoor Town Council & Bishop Auckland CLP.

  25. Barry Ewart says :

    I support the link – at least union funding comes from DEMOCRATIC TRADE UNION DECISION MAKING unlike the recent £17m given to the Tories by the City of London WITHOUT A BALLOT OF SHAREHOLDERS! But I feel the Left needs to offer some reforms. 1. Perhaps all those who wish to support Labour (or join) who pay the poitical levy could have the fee paid from their political levy payment if they are happy with this? I feel a bit uncomfortable about unions paying fees. 2. Also need to argue that Labour needs a sliding scale membership fee based on income to help build a mass party.
    3. At least two working class candidates on every Parliamentary/European shortlist. We on the Left are all for the link but perhaps we also need to offer some fresh thinking? Just some food for thought. Yours comradely.

  26. Andrew Fisher says :

    Andrew Fisher

  27. Brother Barnabas-Francis MacPhail says :

    Please add my name.

  28. Robert J. Charleson. says :

    Add my name,

    Robert Charleson, Bolton S.E. CLP.

  29. Sandy MacPherson says :

    I support this. Times may be a changing but I remember time and again that it was the Trade Union block vote that saved the day at conference for the Labour leadership – from Gaitskell to Blair – from more radical and progressive constituency delegates. What would they do if a new Militant tendency were to arise!

  30. Duncan Morrison says :

    Please add my name
    Duncan Morrison, Lewisham Deptford CLP and Lewisham NUT

  31. Mike Rowley says :

    Cllr Mike Rowley
    Oxford East CLP

  32. nearlydead says :

    It’s crucial for progressive politics the link between Labour and the trade union movement is retained.It has been on that bedrock that elections have been won and has kept things afloat in the hardest times.

  33. RICHARD HANFORD says :

    Please add my name to the statement –

  34. Robin Arthur Hanford (@RobinHanford) says :

    I would like to sign the statement: Robin Hanford, Students With Disabilities Officer, Ruskin College Students’ Union.

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