Holly Lynch MP

Working hard for the people of Halifax, Illingworth & Mixenden, Town, Ovenden, Park, Skircoat, Northowram & Shelf, Sowerby Bridge and Warley

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Today I have written to Labour Party members with my position on the Labour leadership.

The Labour party has become divided in a way that is putting its very existence at risk, and we could not be any further from where I hoped we would be, just 14 months after I was elected.

At the last meeting of the constituency Labour party, I had a very candid and honest discussion with members about the situation. I explained that whilst I did not necessarily agree with the timing of the motion of no confidence in Jeremy, or the way in which the issue had been brought to a head, talk of a snap general election meant that we needed to do some real soul searching as a party, and ask ourselves some tough questions about just how ready we would be to go into an election.

I want to stress that as a frontbench member of the Opposition whips office, I have served Jeremy Corbyn and the party since my appointment in September last year, to the very best of my ability. I have stayed in post throughout the leadership challenge and as many of you will know I have been working with Jo Cox’s staff, having become the supervising MP for Batley and Spen. I have not spoken against Jeremy Corbyn at any stage of this process.

However we are now facing unsustainable divisions within our party and I am afraid that Jeremy simply does not have the answers we need to move us beyond the place we are now.

These divisions are not simply in the Parliamentary Labour party, but at every level of our movement. I fully accept that Jeremy has engaged many people, from those who have never taken an interest in politics before, to long standing members, and that will need to be reflected in where we go from here. However too many voters, members, councillors, MPs and MEPs have said that this is simply not working, and that Jeremy cannot provide the direction we now so desperately need.

I can assure you that many colleagues who have resigned their posts, from all wings of the party, did so with the greatest reluctance, after accepting that his leadership was failing to deliver. I would urge all members to read the accounts given by Thangam Debbonaire and Lilian Greenwood which explain in detail how, quite apart from his politics, Jeremy is ineffective at making the decisions and providing leadership that we so desperately need, both in Parliament and across the country.

So we now find ourselves in a leadership contest which must be conducted in the most comradely of ways. I am sorry to say that ‘Labour values’ have not always been reflected in some of the discussion I have seen, particularly on social media. Many of my colleagues have been subject to a level of abuse and intimidation which is categorically unacceptable. That is not the party I joined and I hope you will join me in saying that such behaviour has no place in our movement.

The people of Halifax elected me as their Labour MP and it is an honour and a privilege that I take very seriously. We should never lose sight of why the Labour Party exists. To suggest that we should not concern ourselves with being in Government is to fail to understand the urgency with which we must replace this Conservative Government for all those who are relying on us. This is my absolute focus.

Having worked with Owen Smith closely as the whip for his work and pensions team, I believe that he can offer the vision and the leadership that we now so desperately need. He understands what is needed to unite the party, and take all of us forward.

I hope to speak to as many members and voters as possible in person over the summer, to answer any questions you might have about the past few weeks and to hear your thoughts about the future of the party.

I hope that we can move on from here, with a renewed commitment to taking on the Tories and putting a stop to the damage that they are doing to all of our communities. Having reflected on the last few weeks, I believe a new leader and a fresh start is the only way to do it.

My Statement on the Labour Leadership Election

Today I have written to Labour Party members with my position on the Labour leadership. The Labour party has become divided in a way that is putting its very existence...

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Holly has met with the Every Child Leaving Care Matters (ECLCM) team to sign their petition to stop discrimination against children in residential children's homes and support all children and young people in care to 21 years of age.

On the 4th December, 2013, the government announced that children who were in foster care would be allowed and supported to remain with their foster carers until they were 21 years of age. There was much celebration amongst campaigners when the announcement was made. However, those celebrations did not extend to children and young people in children’s homes. Children in residential care were not included in this change even though the residential sector often cares for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people who may be unable, or indeed choose not to be fostered.

Since then, the ECLM team have campaigned to end the two tier system which they believe would create an underclass of children in care who have to leave care at 18. They were consulted by Sir Martin Narey in the course of his review into residential care and put forward proposals for children in residential care to stay in touch or stay close to the primary care staff they had grown to trust.

His report, ‘Residential Care in England’, published on Monday, urges the Government to commit to introducing Staying Close and recommends ECLCM should help officials in the Department for Education (DfE) to develop the reform including advising on the pilot schemes.

Holly said,

“I am very pleased to support the great work being done by the Every Child Leaving Care Matters team. Although they are a small group of volunteers they are making a big difference to improve the lives of children who live in residential care.

"I am pleased to see that children in residential care are a step closer to being offered the same rights as those who grow up in foster care. But we must keep the pressure on until the system is fair for every child leaving care.”   

You can find more details about the group by checking out their website ECLCM.org or on Twitter @rescareto21 or on Facebook.

Their petition can be found at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/equality-of-leaving-age-for-all-children-in-care

 

Holly pledges support for campaign to treat all children in Care equally

Holly has met with the Every Child Leaving Care Matters (ECLCM) team to sign their petition to stop discrimination against children in residential children's homes and support all children and...

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The past two weeks have been incredibly difficult both for myself and everybody involved in the Labour movement. Jo Cox was both a colleague and a friend, but as her whip I now also have the responsibility of winding up her office and supporting her staff. They are determined to carry on Jo’s work as best they can until a by-election has taken place. This has been my primary concern and I have spent part of the week in Batley and Spen.

Despite this I have been continuing my own work and following developments closely. The UK’s decision to come out of the EU has already dealt a massive blow to our economy and it is evident that neither the Leave campaign or the Conservative government have any clear plan for managing our exit from the European Union. Our country’s future remains uncertain and I will continue to fight for jobs and businesses in Halifax that are reliant on our ties with Europe. I have been saddened to learn of an increase in hate crimes and discrimination since the referendum result. In such turbulent times we must act to heal the divisions within our communities. As Jo said, “we have far more in common than that which divides us”.

I want to take this opportunity to remind people that I am a front bench member of the Labour Party whip's office and remain in post. During this unsettled time within the PLP I am determined to provide some stability and continue fulfilling this important role, in particular by supporting Jo’s office. As a whip it would be remiss of me to comment any further on speculation surrounding the leadership of the party, but will be following events closely, and would be happy to speak to members directly. 

Holly Lynch MP

A statement from Holly

The past two weeks have been incredibly difficult both for myself and everybody involved in the Labour movement. Jo Cox was both a colleague and a friend, but as her...


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