Congratulations and messages of support have been coming in from all across Somerset as Jeremy Corbyn wins a clear mandate to become leader of the Labour Party .
Leader of Labour controlled Bridgwater Town Council Brian Smedley said “This is a great victory and a turning point for the Labour movement. It’s the end of defeat and the end of defeatism. It’s the opening up of the Labour party to the people that it was created to represent and it sends a clear and alternative socialist message to the Tory agenda of Austerity and inequality. In Bridgwater alone we have some 300 new members. These people are welcome and essential to the Party and need to now get involved and go forward with us and with the wider community”
Fight for a society that is fair…
Bridgwater Deputy Leader, Kathy Pearce added “I voted for Jeremy Corbyn because he has the courage and conviction to take a strong lead to stand up and fight for a society which is fair. His stance is based on genuine beliefs he has always held and which have now struck a cord with a quarter of a million members and supporters. Those beliefs recognise the lack of security and inadequate conditions that millions of people have suffered due to this government’s sham programme of austerity. In terms of foreign policy, his message of addressing the causes of conflict is essential and long overdue.”
Sedgemoor Labour Group leader Mick Lerry said “Jeremy Corbyn MP has been elected as leader of the Labour Party and he will be supported by Tom Watson MP who is a great organiser. It will now be important for the Labour Party to fully understand the election defeat of 2015 and to make sure that the party reaches out to those people who did not vote Labour. Since the General Election defeat the Local Bridgwater Labour Party branch has doubled its’ membership and locally we must now galvanise the new members and supporters to work for the Labour Party. As leader of the Labour Group on Sedgemoor District Council, I will want to work closely with the next Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Energy, regarding Community Benefit for the Hinkley C project. I will be attending the Labour Party Conference where I look forward to Jeremy Corbyn outlining his vision of leadership and how ordinary members will play a part in policy making”.
…stands up for everyone in society
From Wells CLP Alan Beech wrote “Jeremy’s win is a hugely positive step towards a Labour Party which stands up for everyone in our society rather than just the few at the top. A Labour Party which is proud to talk about its values rather than trying to emulate the Tories. A party that can defend itsself against the lies and smears of the right wing press. A Labour Party of mass membership welcoming the tens of thousands of people who felt they had no home in British politics. It’s not going to be easy, but I for one relish the challenge and look forward working with members new, old and re-joined to fight for decency and equality in our society.”
Combating inequality, injustice and poverty….
From West Somerset Andy Lewis responded “This is a stunning victory which gives Jeremy a clear mandate to change the terms of the political debate in Britain. Labour must now unite behind his policies of combating inequality, injustice and poverty. In his victory speech, Jeremy spoke warmly about his rivals in the contest, showing he wants to be an inclusive leader for the whole Labour Party. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in an exciting exercise in democracy. Here in West Somerset, the number of people pledging support for Labour soared during the campaign. It is now up to all of us – members and supporters old and new – to keep up the momentum of Jeremy’s win and to press home the message of hope and humanity.”
…Fresh alternative to perceived staleness of modern politics
From Taunton Neil Guild wrote “Jeremy Corbyn has achieved a decisive victory in the Labour leadership election. While I didn’t personally support Jeremy, as a democrat and a socialist I have to recognise the mandate he now holds to lead the party into the future. I would call on everyone across the spectrum of opinion within the Labour Party to set aside the differences that have been expressed during the campaign and to now get behind our new leader.
Jeremy Corbyn has shown that he is a man of deep conviction, principle and integrity. Members of the Party were clearly attracted to this authenticity as a fresh alternative to the perceived staleness of modern politics. They were also attracted to the clear articulation of core Labour values and the rejection of the narrow economic consensus on austerity. An understanding that the Labour is not simply a vehicle for winning and holding power but an engine of social change and for the values that we collectively hold – social justice, equality and that everyone, no matter your background, deserves a fair chance in life.
It will be Jeremy Corbyn’s battle over the coming months and years to make his case on the economy and offer a credible and compelling alternative to the wider electorate that still remain sceptical about the Labour Party. It is a battle that I can ready to join him in. “
Somerton Frome note ‘new age of honesty and sincerity in politics’
David Oakensen, from Somerton & Frome CLP said “The election of Jeremy Corbyn is a triumph for party democracy. We now have a leader who truly represents the hopes and values of our members. A leader who believes in democratic socialism. This is no throwback to the past but the start of a great new future. A future where we in the Labour Party can once again vote and campaign for socialism. We are signing up for a new age of honesty and sincerity in politics, and it is the Conservatives who will be left behind in the past.”
Mixed Feelings in Yeovil
Yeovil CP Chairman, Joe Conway said in an interview to the Western Gazette : “I think he’ll be cautious in defence sector. I was torn about who to vote for myself but in the end I voted for Andy Burnham purely because of Jeremy’s position on defence. I know a lot of people are against Trident but it does employ hundreds of thousands of people and if we are going to move away from that we need alternative employment in place for those people.I’m happy to try and persuade his policy in defence and I believe there will be that opportunity but at the moment we have to unite as a party and win the next election otherwise this austerity and inequality will just continue.I’ve got mixed views and mixed feelings but you cannot even argue about the result. The party has spoken. There was a massive turnout and a massive win. Nobody else got close to him, it was even bigger than Tony Blair’s win in 1994 and you can’t argue with that.”
Biggest Labour mandate in UK history….
Longstanding Labour Party member Alexia Bartlett from Ashcott said “The biggest mandate any Labour leader has had in UK history. Surely the most promising and hopeful sign for a future government based on solid left-wing principles, and a society based on unity, equality and compassion.”
Newly elected Sedgemoor Labour councillor Wes Hinckes simply said “Straight-talking, honest politics! ” and typical of the messages flooding in is this one from Becky of Burnham “Hello! I live in Burnham on sea. Long time Labour supporter. Jeremy’s election has inspired me to get involved again. Please let me know when the next meeting is.”