Sunday, September 17, 2006

Interesting Times for Southwark Labour Members

On Friday Harriet Harman confirmed that she will be a candidate for the Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party when a vacancy arises. Harriet has been the MP for Camberwell and Peckham since 1982 and has been instrumental in raising the number of Labour's women MPs from 17 to 97 and modernising the Labour Party during the 'wilderness years'. At the next General Election parliamentary boundaries will be re-drawn and South Camberwell will become part of Camberwell & Peckham after many years as part of the Dulwich and West Norwood constituency. So we have an interest in Harriet's progress.

Of course, if today's newspapers are to be believed it seems likely that the current MP for South Camberwell, Tessa Jowell, may also be throwing her hat into the Deputy Leadership ring later this week. I have not spoken to Tessa so don't know yet whether there is any truth in this report. However, it is really exciting for Southwark Labour Party members to know that we have such prominent government figures locally who will be helping to shape the next decade of Labour politics.

I agree with Harriet's comments today that the Party should use the forthcoming leadership contest to debate policy and renewal, and should not be afraid of that debate. I hope that members will become engaged with this process. And if you're not a Labour Party member but would like to be involved in that debate - why not join us?


Jacob said...

If I joined now how long would it be until I could vote for one of the local MPs?

Peter John said...

Thanks for your query Jacob. I've looked at the party rules which state that with regard to the elections for leader and deputy leader of the Labour Party you have to be an eleigible member:
"Eligible members shall be those currently on the national
membership list who are endorsed and have not lapsed from membership."
So there doesn't seem to be a time limit.