More United was set-up to protect a set of values most people in Britain share and to support those in politics who wish to build a fair and thriving country. We’re making this a reality through democracy, across and beyond different parties. Below are those that responded to our asks to find out how they will commit to building a More United country.
Click on each candidate to read their full statements.
Jess Phillips - "If you believe in a tolerant, open and progressive society, you are welcome..."
A Labour Party led by me will be open and inclusive. For too long, we’ve looked as though we are a bit of an exclusive club, setting a kind of values-based ‘purity test’ that too many people felt they didn’t meet. News stories focused on factionalism and in-fighting made joining Labour an unattractive proposition for lots of those who actually share our principles.
More United has offered a home to many compassionate, forward facing people involved in politics. People like you.
I want the Labour Party to become your home. But I recognise changes are needed.
The Labour Party was founded on the principles of fairness, opportunity and equality. We must remember our roots and welcome all those who share these values.
If you believe in a tolerant, open and progressive society, you are welcome.
If you believe we need to level up opportunities for the poorest in society, you are welcome.
If you believe in protecting and enhancing our environment so we can pass on a better world to our children, you are welcome.
If you are one of those lifelong Labour supporters who voted for the Lib Dems, the Greens or voted tactically in the last few years, my message to you is come back to us. Join us. This is the only way we can get a progressive force back into Government.
If you’re worried about the risk of no deal at the end of this year; if you’re worried about the rights of EU nationals; if you’re a former Labour member who voted Lib Dem or Green because we let you down ... now is the time to come back to the Labour Party
Over the course of the leadership election I will be setting out several priorities that I think need urgent attention including a proper plan for social care, universally free childcare, an end to homelessness, and an agenda that will protect and enhance our climate from local air pollution to reducing global carbon emissions. Bold ideas backed up by a big personality. That’s something I can guarantee.
But the reality is we can only take forward these types of priorities if people trust us. We need to rebuild people’s belief that politicians and Government can play a positive role in transforming society and people’s livelihoods. That is what I am determined to do.
If you believe it’s time for something and someone different, you can add your voice to mine. You can register to vote in the leadership election until 20th January. Together we can and will change this.
Deputy Leadership Candidates
Rosena Allin-Khan - "The time is now to listen to our voters and activists and understand how they want us to rebuild..."
Working as a frontline A&E doctor, the most important skill I’ve developed is the ability to listen. When a patient comes to me for help, they will often describe their symptoms with lots of different pieces of information – I also have to thoroughly examine all patients to ensure nothing is missed. My role as a doctor is to focus, recognise the most important details, so I can correctly identify what is wrong with each patient in order to start treatment.
This is what is needed in the Labour Party.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Labour Party. A Labour government helped give a young woman from Tooting the chance to study medicine at Cambridge, despite failing her A-Levels because of a difficult homelife, and despite having been told she’d never amount to anything. It provided me with the opportunity to train as an A&E doctor and use these skills to work as an humanitarian doctor in disaster zones across the world. I want everyone to experience the same life-chances I did.
We need to really start listening, with humility, to those life-long Labour voters who’ve left us over the recent years. We need to listen to their concerns, and make sure they know their voices are being heard by those at the top of the Labour Party. We cannot put words into people’s mouths.
The Labour Party currently, simply is not trusted. There are many reasons for the distinct lack of trust: our disastrous equivocation over Brexit, our abject failure to deal properly with antisemitism within the party, our lack of focus in our manifesto compared to a clear Tory slogan – but the time is now to listen to our voters and activists and understand how they want us to rebuild.
We must rebuild. As a front-line A&E doctor, I see our most vulnerable stuck in hospital because they cannot access the social care they are entitled to. I see people who need to access mental health services but are unable to do so because the waiting lists are so long. I see parents saying goodbye to their children who have died as a result of violent crime.
We must be there for people who need us in their greatest time of need. We must also be there for our most vulnerable internationally. I am so grateful for the opportunity that More United supporters gave me to raise the plight of Rohingya refugees – I will always be there for the world’s more vulnerable – but I would like to do so in Government where Labour can prioritise human rights across the globe.
As a doctor, I have to listen to the symptoms and investigate the root causes - that is what we must do now as a party, and that’s what I will do if I’m elected the next Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. I would love to have your support.
Ian Murray - "Only by putting country before party can we address the huge questions of our time..."
At every General Election, I run a marginal seat campaign in my constituency.
Edinburgh South may not look like a marginal on paper, but it has previously been in Conservative hands and its equivalent seat in the Scottish Parliament has been won by both the Lib Dems and the SNP.
In 2010, my majority over the LibDems was just 316 votes. Today, despite Labour’s crushing election defeat, it is over 11,000.
I have achieved that by building a broad coalition of voters, from Edinburgh’s Morningside suburb to the former mining community of Gilmerton.
In this diverse community, we all have more in common than that which divides us.
That’s why I led the campaign in Scotland for a final say on Brexit. Leaving the EU will hurt the researchers in my constituency working at one of the world’s greatest universities; it will hurt those employed in the city’s successful financial sector; it will hurt the migrant workers who have successfully transformed Edinburgh’s economy; and it will hurt the poorest families in my seat when workplace rights are eroded, job opportunities disappear, and wages fall.
It’s why I joined forces with MPs from other parties to successfully petition the courts, even signing an affidavit for the evidence that was presented, when Boris Johnson tried to prorogue Parliament.
For months, I worked closely with politicians from all parties to promote democracy and openness.
And it wasn’t only on Brexit. In 2018 I worked closely with colleagues in the Conservatives, Green Party and Liberal Democrats through More United on the vital issue of plastic pollution. We won an important victory.
Over the next few months, my time will be taken up talking to members and supporters who will vote for the next deputy leader of the Labour Party. But the Labour Party cannot only talk to itself.
We must talk to voters who stuck with us, those who deserted us, and those who have never voted Labour.
We must build a broad coalition of voters across the country so that we can transform every single community in the UK.
This goes to the heart of why I am proud to support More United and why I have been part of its MP Network since the beginning.
Only by putting country before party can we address the huge questions of our time: an ageing population; the opportunities and challenges of automation and AI; and the climate emergency facing our planet.
Later this year, the UN’s COP26 summit on climate change will be held in the UK. There is international hope that it produces a ‘Glasgow Agreement’ with both ambition and urgency at its heart.
What it cannot be about is disputes between nations, or even squabbles between governments, such as the UK and Scottish governments.
Many of the issues facing society are too big for one party alone and with a large government majority we must all come together to make a real difference in the areas that are of the greatest challenge.
In this deputy leadership campaign, I will be arguing that the Labour Party only wins when it is united and when it builds as broad a coalition of support as possible in the country, and with other parties too.
If I am elected, I will continue to argue that we can only build a better society if we are all more united.
I’ve always been proud to be a member of the More United network. It’s already made a difference and I’ll ensure it continues to do so.
Angela Rayner - "We can work together to achieve change..."
At the end of the last parliament we saw some of the most divisive and vicious debates that I can remember. I even saw colleagues reduced to tears in, and out, of the chamber, with words used as weapons rather than to persuade or argue.
I don’t say that as someone who shies away from a robust debate. Being unafraid to speak and challenge things that I felt need to change is why I entered politics in the first place. Before I was an MP, I worked as a union rep, pushing for positive change and challenging injustice in the workplace. As a working mum at sixteen, I didn’t always have confidence in myself. But I learnt to organise and speak up. When I became a home carer to provide for myself and my son, my fellow workers said I should be their union rep. I didn’t know what a union was until then but my confidence grew as I got my education through the labour movement.
I have friends and family up and down the country struggling to put regular meals on the table and I know people working two or three jobs just to make ends meet. For them, some politicians’ ding dong across the despatch box is far removed from their lives. ‘Politics’ has become a dirty word and they’ve become not so much disengaged as disillusioned. That’s part of the reason I’m standing for Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. I want to help end the fear and hate, and offer some hope for a better future for the country.
I will always stand up for the opportunities and fairness that I believe a socialist government will bring, but I’ve also been prepared to step aside and support backbenchers when they’ve campaigned for child refugees or ending the tampon tax and have a better chance to achieve change that I want to see. In this Parliament, I will see if we can tackle issues like reducing school uniform costs, changing our university admission system, or creating a Social Justice Commission. - all championed by backbenchers and which might make progress even under a Conservative majority government.
Tackling climate change is among the massive challenges that can only be met if we get a greater consensus not just across different politicians but among the public too.
Those are just some examples of where we can work together to achieve change. As Deputy Leader of the Labour Party I will be open-minded to different approaches in making the changes we want to our shared society.
The Labour movement remains close to my heart and if it taught me one thing it is that, together, we are always stronger.