Claire Wadey — candidate for secretary
Personal statement by Claire Wadey, before she was elected the new secretary of Brighton Pavilion Constituency Labour Party.
“I am standing for election as Secretary of Brighton Pavilion CLP. Or perhaps I should say re-election? As a former Pavilion CLP Secretary in the years before BH DLP was formed, I am familiar with the GC structures and rules now new to so many members. As Pavilion’s Procedures Secretary I administered the re-selection of David Lepper as our successful Labour candidate in 2001. More recently, I organised local council candidates’ shortlisting and selection for Withdean in 2015.
“One of the reasons I am running “Learn About Labour” workshops locally is to try to spread this knowledge, so that members understand how Labour’s rulebook supports Party democracy — and where it may need to be strengthened to enhance members’ rights.
“If you elect me as Secretary I want to build a participatory Party, with all members involved as much as they want to be. My vision is of a Labour Party where we all come together to campaign, debate, fundraise, and have fun. We have many terrific new members with different talents and great ideas. As Brighton people we know how to promote our ideas and have fun!
“I always want our Party to be in the best possible position going forward in all three Brighton & Hove constituencies. I have organised many activities as Withdean Secretary since 2013. In January 2015 I ran a local petition which almost 2,000 residents signed outside Preston Park station. As organiser for our 2015 election campaigns I was delighted when Labour’s vote doubled, putting us back ahead of the Greens in Withdean. At 76%, Withdean had the highest turnout across the city thanks to our dedicated members.
“I grew-up in a Council flat in Hollingdean and experienced homelessness aged 13 when my parents split-up. That was the background to my first campaigning with Brighton Housing Trust and Youth CND. I attended Hertford and Dorothy Stringer and only got to be an accountant thanks to the welfare state looking after me with free school meals, the NHS keeping me well, and a free university education — the first woman in my family to go. Labour provided me with all of this, which is why I have been a lifelong member since age 16 and campaign for these things to benefit everyone in our society.
“I am a socialist, Unite member, and a member of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC). My key priorities include disabled people’s rights, ending austerity and privatisation, returning rail and Royal Mail to public ownership, supporting our public services, scrapping tuition fees, and ensuring that all women have the right to a free abortion if they so choose. But I believe that Officers have a duty to carry out members’ wishes, regardless of their own views. Labour must be visible campaigning in Brighton Pavilion on our core policies.
“Jeremy Corbyn has an ambition to change this country forever, in the interests of ordinary people — the people the Labour Party was formed to represent — people like you & me. I stand firm with Jeremy and ask for your vote as Secretary of Brighton Pavilion CLP.”