Andrew Smith MP recently sent this message to all Labour members and supporters in Oxford Labour:
I congratulate Jeremy Corbyn on his remarkable victory. He has a huge mandate for his leadership of our Party.
This is a political earthquake and also an opportunity for the democratic renewal of our Party. The breathtaking margin of victory reflects the strong desire of many Labour members and supporters for change, radical policies and a break with politics as usual. It was particularly striking how strong the support for Jeremy is amongst young people. The predictable Tory attacks on Labour’s choice are missing the point of why it Is so many people feel let down by our political system, and don’t see why the poorest and most vulnerable in our society should be paying the price for the failure of the bankers. Something new has surged up from the grass-roots in this leadership election. We all have to listen.
When I spoke with local members immediately after the results declaration I said: “All sections of the party should unite behind our new leader. The scale of his victory shows how much Labour members want politics of hope, challenging social injustice, and building a fairer society. Oxford Labour has already helped develop new politics, with the intensity of our community campaigning, and the service which I and our local councillors give to our community. It’s so important keep up our doorstep sessions talking with local residents and taking up their concerns, which has been the foundation of Labour’s success in Oxford.”
The night before the declaration of the leadership result I received an email from Jeremy Corbyn thanking me for nominating him as Leader. Even though I supported Yvette Cooper, I made the nomination – the 35th, which ensured Jeremy Corbyn was on the ballot paper. I did this in the interests of party democracy. It would have been wrong for this strand of opinion, supported by so many people in the Labour Party, to have been denied a place on the ballot paper.
Jeremy Corbyn’s email:
Thanks very much for your nomination of me in the first place for the leadership campaign; you were one of the last to make a nomination and gave us all a bit of excitement and joy!
It was great the way you introduced the hustings we held in Oxford during our visit there and I look forward to working with you whatever the result tomorrow.
It was nice of Jeremy to send this message, and says something about the man that he found the time to do it personally when he will have had so many other things to attend to.
These are turbulent, but also exciting, times for our Party. We must hold fast to giving the best possible representation to local people, drawing new supporters into Party activities and working hard to win the City elections. Whatever views we hold as individuals on the best strategy and policies for the future, we remember that in a democratic party we have the opportunity to help shape that future. We also remember that unity is strength, and we must have open debate which also recognises that we will all stand together in both challenging the damaging policies of this Tory government and working for victories for Labour in the local and general elections to come. Labour members and supporters have delivered a decisive outcome. In the best traditions of our party we must pull together to make it work, not just for Labour but for all those whose life chances depend on a Labour government.
Thanks so much for your support for the Labour Party and the values we stand for.