Speaker’s Corner: Labour city councillor Lisa Forbes “Involve city voters in choice of leader”

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After Labour’s recent and very disappointing election defeat and Ed Miliband’s subsequent resignation, the process of deciding on a new leader for our party begins again.

It is my view that Ed Miliband would have made a great Prime Minister of our country. I recall the first time I met him - he was standing to become the leader of our party at a hustings event that had been organised in Corby, which was the nearest place to Peterborough to host one. I was immediately impressed that he took the time before making his case as to why he would be the best person to lead our party, to talk to and listen to the members that had gathered to hear him. He must have had a conversation with everyone in the room.

He was personable and came across as a principled and passionate politician who had a vision of a fairer, better Britain and so it came as no surprise to me that in the end he was selected by the members to lead our party, but sadly the voting public didn’t share the view he should lead the country.

It is my hope that this time I won’t have to travel to Corby to witness the leadership hustings. I will be busily championing Peterborough as a great city to host such an event and I want the public here to help decide who the next leader of the Labour Party and hopefully the next Prime Minister should be.

In the past, Labour Party members and affiliated organisations have chosen who leads our party, but we need to broaden that out and involve people who vote in elections and ultimately decide who the Prime Minister should be too. In the past week about 30,000 more people have joined the Labour Party and a fair few of those have joined in Peterborough, but what about all those who support Labour but aren’t members? It seems only right that they should be able to have a say and be involved in the process of choosing someone to lead our party, too.

This selection of the Labour Party leader will be different, people can become registered supporters for a small fee of £3.00 and this will entitle them to vote for who should lead the party in what will prove to be a crucial time for our country.

It is so important that the voting public share our 
view of who will make the best Labour Party leader 
and future Prime Minister, so I will be lobbying the leadership of the Labour Party for an event in Peterborough and hope to be able to 
update you all on this very soon.

To become a registered supporter, please visit - support.labour.org.uk/ and help us choose our next leader.