A MOTION from the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Unite was passed at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton yesterday calling for ‘extending public ownership’ and demanding ‘deep and transformative change’.
Public Ownership Composite Motion 5 was passed by a show of hands despite Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer seeking to ditch the policy of renationalisation when he appeared on TV yesterday morning.
Appearing on BBC One’s Andrew Marr show, Starmer was asked directly whether he would consider nationalising the key energy providers to tackle the energy crisis. He replied: ‘No.’
Former Unite leader Len McCluskey described Starmer’s response as ‘disgraceful’.
Moving the motion, Unite’s Tom Murphy turned his fire on Starmer, saying: ‘Ideas such as the publicly owned energy network were proposed in the 2019 manifesto.
‘Turning our back on these ideas now for internal reasons can only be utterly self-defeating. A commitment to public ownership has been made by this party.
‘It’s a commitment made by the leadership of the party in their own election. It’s a commitment vindicated by both events and public support.
‘We face a Tory government whose only strategy is based on cronyism, tax cuts and the transfer of public money to unaccountable multinationals.
‘Now cannot be the time to argue for a retreat from our commitments or to be timid in our calls for intervention in the economy.
‘Recent polling confirmed once again that the majority of the public back common ownership rather than face once again a chaotic cycle of deregulation, collapse and bailout.’
Dave Ward general secretary of the CWU said the motion ‘reasserts Labour’s commitment to public ownership’.
He went on: ‘Keir, if you’re listening to this, if you’re really interested in trade unions, I’m going to promise you that we’re going to build a model that really, genuinely does align the interests of workers, of business, of employers and of communities and the public.’
The CWU and Unite motion was endorsed by conference.
Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell accused Keir Starmer of behaving like Stalin, after a number of delegates arriving at the Labour conference in Brighton were turned away at the door and told they had been expelled.
McDonnell was scathing about the vision for Labour set out by Starmer in a pamphlet last week, describing it as ‘banality after banality’.
- Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner refused to apologise for calling Tory ministers ‘a bunch of scum’ at the Labour conference in Brighton yesterday.
She said she will apologise for calling Boris Johnson ‘scum’ when he retracts past comments she described as ‘homophobic, racist and misogynistic’.