POLITICS: Welcome to the Party

I am writing following the story released this week regarding Gavin Jones, a previously prominent Liberal Democrat councillor for Berwick, cancelling his membership and joining the Labour Party.

As the Chair of Berwick Constituency Labour Party, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Gavin and thank him for being one of our newest members in North Northumberland.

A very warm welcome will always be extended to anyone who decides to join our movement which is built by the people for the people.

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Gavin joins a Labour Party with thousands of members in Northumberland, hundreds of thousands in the region and over half a million nationwide.

This is the biggest people-powered democratic political movement Western Europe has ever seen.

Looking closer to home, here in North Northumberland, I would like to echo Gavin’s comments about the unified movement developing in opposition to the Tories and in particular, the regressive, cruel and damaging voting record of Anne-Marie Trevelyan, which she has developed since first being elected three years ago.

At one time in Berwick Constituency, many Labour supporters and no doubt even members would have voted Lib Dem, to ensure they kept the Conservatives out of power, electing Alan Beith as a representative for many years.

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However, times have changed, evidence of which we saw at the 2015 and 2017 general elections, where the Liberal Democrats, who have continued to fade into irrelevance since, were unable to stop the Tories.

Then In 2017 Labour came second and were secured as the official opposition to Anne-Marie Trevelyan and the Conservatives in our constituency.

This is the reason that people like Gavin are making a huge difference. By calling for unity and joining the Labour opposition they are showing commitment to fight the Tory cuts and austerity that have so badly damaged our communities across the North East.

Our varied and diverse communities here in rural Northumberland have been badly betrayed by the Government.

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The only way for us to build the progressive and fair society we desperately need is to unite against the Tories’ draconian and Dickensian vision and through Labour create a Britain for the Many, not the Few.

Lisa-Marie Kelly,

Chair, Berwick-upon-Tweed Constituency Labour Party