Candidate urges West Norfolk Labour activists to continue campaigning

Post election review meeting organised by NW Norfolk Labour Party. ANL-150523-172729009
Post election review meeting organised by NW Norfolk Labour Party. ANL-150523-172729009
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More active campaigning and an emphasis on traditional values are needed to help Labour revive its fortunes, according to one of its West Norfolk election candidates.

Around 30 people, including some non-party members, attended an open meeting held at the Magdalen village hall on Saturday.

The event was organised by the North West Norfolk constituency partyto discuss the way forward following this month’s election defeat.

And Jo Rust, the party’s defeated candidate in the North West Norfolk constituency said the party had to become more visible in the community outside of election periods if its results at the ballot box were to improve in the future.

She said: “We need to make our party a campaigning force.”

Deborah Holman, who contested the North Wootton ward in the West Norfolk Council elections, also urged members to act.

She said: “Let’s do something and not just stand by and let the Conservatives get away with whatever they’re getting away with.

“We’re going to see more and more people negatively impacted and we have to feel we can minimise that impact.”

Ideas including a dedicated constituency office and community initiatives such as sports and quiz teams were proposed during the discussion.

Members were also urged to support the work of the party’s 10 West Norfolk borough councillors

And officials plan to invite Clive Lewis, Labour’s new MP in Norwich South and its only MP in Norfolk, to address the constituency party’s annual general meeting, which is expected to take place in either late June or early July.

The scale of Labour’s general election defeat has triggered a debate about its entire future.

Mrs Rust said the party needs to make itself relevant to all sections of society, but believes it should be cautious of making major changes to its platform.

She said: “We need to influence how people think. If we are seen to be changing our policies and direction because people haven’t voted for it, we’ll be seen as doing anything to get a vote.

“We need to be true to our core values. Labour has always been the party of aspiration. We need to get that across.”