We decided to stand candidates for all posts. We would state our arguments for why we suited the post in our statements, but would use our speeches to give voice to the factionalism in our CLP. For the first time in a while we could say how we felt without being silenced.

Our speeches would be an opportunity for the left to articulate the experience of being in Holborn & St Pancras CLP, controlled by a right-wing anti-Corbyn faction endorsed by Keir Starmer.

Holborn Left

At the end a member who is loosely tied to the right-wing faction commented on how he could have predicted how every vote would go before it happened. He had listened to us and taken on board what we said. Only time will tell whether others have too.

Ruth Appleton stood for Disability Officer. Ruth is a highly experienced Unison delegate, on the EC and activist. She is the founder and Project Coordinator of the Sante Refugee Project. She lost the vote, the result wasn’t very different to all other votes. Here is her speech.

Ruth Appleton speaks at Labour Party Conference 2019

“Throughout my attendance at both EC and GC meetings there have never been induction loop facilities provided though members have indeed asked for this. I would if elected make sure facilities enable everyone to participate and I would not tolerate any discriminatory chairing of meetings where speakers are called on an arbitrary selection criterion. Speakers should be called in order of their indicating their wish to speak as this ensures equal participation.

If a disability officer is elected they should be allowed to take office fully, not kept at arms length with no access to the membership list. This is discriminatory and prevents the office being fulfilled. Disabilities are bad enough without the Party reinforcing social stigma. If elected I would embark on Training by people with disabilities for the benefit of Cllrs and other officers.

I would engage members of this constituency who have disabilities in running the training and consult on which programme is best for the term of office. This is long overdue. Our CLP is behind in implementing the DDA in its activities and I would change that.”

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