Hello conference, first time delegate, first time speaker, delegate for Labour Students, now representing over 30,000 students, the equivalent of my entire University of East Anglia.
I joined the party at the age of 14 for the same reason I am here today - to join the fight for a more, decent, tolerant and fair society.
As a young, Muslim women I could not be prouder to be supporting this motion because it taps into the very core of my principles of justice, equality and acceptance
This motion is bigger than party politics. It's about practising what we preach, it cuts into the root of who we are and what we stand for. The Labour Party is the Party of antiracism and antifascism. We must be true to that.
Rightly so, this rule change has the support from all corners of our broad movement and the backing with our leader Jeremy Corbyn, and the entire, unanimous Labour NEC.
We are the party that fought fascism in the 1930s. We are the party that created the National Health Service. We are the party who created the National Minimum Wage.
Today, we have the chance to do something special. We can be the first political party to outlaw any sort of racism, islamophobia and sexism.
This country led the movement of acceptance for my family into this county in the 70s. My grandparents were refugees and came here in search of a better life. They were life long trade unionists and members of the Labour Party, and I stand on their shoulders on this stage today.
They will be proud that we today continue to be at the forefront of liberation. This essential rule change will transcend division and strengthen the link with our Jewish friends and the Labour Party. We continue in the traditional activists like my grandparents set by making sure that there is no space for discrimination of any kind within our Party. I am proud that not only my family stand behind this rule change, but we stand together with Jeremy Corbyn, Tom Watson, David Lammy, Andrew Gwynne and other socialist societies like LGBT Labour.
On our campuses, we fight to make our spaces safe. We fight to win a Labour government. We stand up to fascists on the far right, and we challenge abuse wherever we find it, even on the left.
As a student dedicated to winning for Labour we need to set the highest possible standard in our rule book. Friends, this is a moral imperative. This is simply the right thing to do. We talk about solidarity. Stand in solidarity with me against the sexism and islamophobia I have received. Stand in solidarity with those who receive any form of abuse. Because one abusive incident is one to many.
Please vote for this motion.
Stephanie Lloyd, LGBT Labour. proud to stand here in solidarity with JLM and the NEC to support this Rule Change.
To be honest Conference I’m heartbroken that I am even having to make this speech.
As a party we are well versed in highlighting how we transformed the lives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community in this country. We Abolished things that should never been there – a ban on serving in the military, section 28 and unequal age of consent – and created new rights – the Equality Act, civil partnerships, the Gender Recognition Act, the right for LGBT couples to adopt – to name just a few.
Our party turned British society from one that marginalised and openly oppressed LGBT people into one where I am proud to stand in front of you today as an out lesbian.
We proudly say we are the party of equality - but if that is stay true we now have a very clear choice to make
Currently our rules mean if someone in this room was to stand against the party in an election they would be more severely disciplined by the party than if someone stood up right now in this conference hall shouted homophobic abuse at me.
Conference the hardest thing to do is take an honest and difficult look at ourselves and accept that as a party we are not free from homophobia, transphobia, sexism, islamphobia and antisemitism in this party.
Conference We still have councillors that believe being gay is a sin - our patron Angle Eagle has been a victim of horrendous homophobia over the past year - women threatened with rape threats for daring to have an opinion and some of the most vile antisemitism tweeted and screamed at members in our party just because they are Jewish.
We can’t hope to change this country again if we haven’t got the bravery to change our party.
Conference I am asking you to vote for this rule change
I am asking for you to stand with all of us
To not just talk about equality but to be better - to set the gold standard and continue to raise the bar for everyone else
I’m asking you to vote for every Person that has ever been abused and harassed for just being who they are
To stand with all of us at a time where we need to feel we aren't just a tagline for the party but we are at the heart of the party
I’m asking you to show us that this is a party that will continue to change the world
To show that hatred is not welcome in party and to give the party the powers it needs to protect us
LGBT Labour would like to thank our friends and allies at the Jewish Labour Movement and in Labour Party leadership for making this rule change a possibility. Conference, let's make this a reality.
By Cllr Peter Mason - this article originally appeared at LabourList on 7th September 2017
Later this month at conference, Labour will finally have an opportunity to put right the uncomfortable truth that we treat crimes against the party more harshly than we do crimes against each other.
Standing against the party, supporting a candidate who stands against us, or being a member of a proscribed organisation earns you an automatic exclusion.
Acting in a way that is prejudicial or grossly detrimental to the party can earn you an entry into the complex world of Labour formal disciplinary processes whose ultimate sanction is – as was the case with George Galloway – a hearing before the national constitutional committee (NCC) and potential expulsion.
On the issue of wrongdoing against each other, like harassment or discrimination, our rule book is less clear.
Not everyone gets excited when an Integration and Cohesion Report lands on their desk but I read Louise Casey’s report minutes after its official release. To be honest I am a self-confessed community cohesion junkie having previously worked for the Government to advise them on these issues and to set up practical projects to promote integration and combat hate crime and extremist organisations.
Antisemitism is abhorrent and the values of our movement mean that it cannot and must not be tolerated. That was the starting point for my inquiry. Labour has a proud record of tolerance, antiracism and of standing up for minorities, and our Leader has been at the forefront of many of the struggles for the dignity of all peoples. Sadly, however, there is now a feeling amongst a growing part of the Jewish community that they do not feel welcome in our Party. There is too often a culture of intolerance where Jews are concerned and there are clear incidents of antisemitism.
In recent weeks The Guardian has published a series of letters (like this one and this one) from groups of individuals setting out positions on Zionism & antisemitism that are far removed from mainstream Jewish Labour perspectives.
Recent events have sadly allowed people to ask whether the Labour Party has a problem with antisemitism.
No ifs, not buts: antisemitism has no place in the party. As part of the Jewish Labour Movement, I’m striving to make sure that is the case and that Jewish Labour members know they have a place in the party.