The European Parliamentary Elections are set to take place in the United Kingdom on Thursday May 23rd. With the nation divided by Brexit, many feel this is the perfect time to voice their political opinions during the election.
In this article, we focus on the Labour Party. What are its key policies? Who are the top candidates? We take a look...
Jeremy Corbyn is the leader of the opposition. He has served in this role since 2015, taking over from Ed Miliband after Labour was defeated by the Tories in the General Election.
Corbyn enjoyed some success in the 2017 snap election with the Conservative Party losing its majority. But he has since drawn plenty of criticism from those within and outside of his party. The main reason for this is his weak and often unclear stance on Brexit.
Current seats in the European Parliament
Labour currently has 18 out of the 73 MEPs in the European Parliament. This is the joint highest number of any political party, alongside the Conservative Party.
Many saw Labour as the leading anti-Brexit party back in 2016 but those voters have since been ostracised by Corbyn's ambiguity on this matter of national and historical significance.
As a result, Labour could struggle in these European Elections. With many Tory Brexiteers defecting to the Brexit Party, Remainers do not have one glaringly obvious alternative route to take.
Change UK will be hoping to attract disillusioned Labour voters. But the Liberal Democrats might benefit more from Remainers alienated by Corbyn's Labour.
Ahead of these elections, Corbyn and Labour have been pushing the following rhetoric: a Labour vote is an anti-right-wing vote. But Labour's stance on Brexit remains disappointingly vague.
Corbyn has provided some clarity on what the party does not want; Labour would do all in their power to avoid a no-deal Brexit and it will also continue to shoot down Theresa May's deal, which has been rejected in the House of Commons three times now.
But Labour's Brexit plan is currently non-committal and circumspect. Labour seems more focused on calling a General Election, rather than pushing for or against a People's Vote on a second referendum.
Labour's other policies include vowing to end Austerity, tackling Climate Change (by banning fracking, protecting 'blue belts', etc.) and promoting workers' rights.
Endorsing equality is another key promise in the Labour manifesto; the party has vowed to campaign for equality. This includes tackling far-right populism and creating unity, as well as promoting values such as equal pay and minimum wage and tackling issues such as racism, Islamaphobia and antisemitism.
Richard Corbett is Labour's primary candidate in the region of Yorkshire and the Humber, where the party currently holds two seats. Corbett has been the Leader of the Labour Party in the European Parliament since 2017 and was first elected as an MEP in 1996.
Baron Adonis (Andrew Adonis) is a notable name on Labour's candidate list. The former Labour cabinet minister will be the party's second candidate in the South West behind Clare Moody. Interestingly, he is a strong anti-Brexit pundit and he is up against Ann Widdecombe of the Brexit Party.
Claude Moraes is Labour's top candidate in London, where the party currently holds four seats. The Scotland-raised politician of Indian heritage was named as the most influential UK MEP (and the sixth most influential MEP) in Vote Watch Europe's article in 2017.
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