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Exclusive Interview for Left Insider

Tony Laborman

Chris Williamson MP

Chris Williamson is a hard hitting and solid supporter of Jeremy Corbyn. He has earned his place at the heart of the party by loyalty and dedication. His passion is helping drive the party back to real Socialism.

Tony

“You must have visited many CLP’s with the Democracy Roadshow. What are the issues coming to the fore most often?”


Chris

 

“Many constituencies and activists, both old and new, have shared frustrations with their efforts to be involved in local party politics. Some pro-Corbyn members have received downright hostility. It’s no wonder then that those attending have universally welcomed increasing members democracy.”

 

Tony

“What is your view on citizen’s income? Do you think that a Corbyn led Labour government would introduce such a scheme?”


Chris

 

“It should be looked at, but critically. It can’t serve as a replacement for public services, nor for decent wages.”

 

Tony

Currently Many CLP’s including ours in SW Wiltshire, have been stopped by regional offices, from selecting candidates for the next election. The reason given is that the boundaries may change. Do you support the selection of candidates now despite possible changes, as the other parties have already done?


Chris

 

“The boundary review is thorny. In its current form it looks like a power grab for the Tories. But many of their number are also unhappy so given Parliament is on a knife edge, and given the noises were hearing from the Tories on this issue, it’s reasonable to assume it won’t be voted on this year, nor anytime soon. It’s another issue into the long grass. So yes, I think Labour should be election ready. The sooner the better.”

 

Tony

“In the event of an election in the coming months, what position do you think Labour should take with regard to the EU. Should we push forward with leaving the EU or should we stand for Remain with renegotiated terms, bearing in mind that Labour did support Remain in the Referendum?”


Chris

 

“Look we had a referendum, we fought it hard. Jeremy fought hard, in fact Loughborough University produced research showing he attended more campaign events than anyone. But we lost. Returning to that debate in my view isn’t welcome and die hard Remainers should think about the impact of trying to over turn that vote. At the same time, the Tories can’t negotiate within their own party, never mind in Brussels and they’re dragging us towards a cliff edge. Labour are opposing that, we would oppose such a no deal outcome in Parliament.”

 

Tony

“Do you accept that to build the number of Council homes that are needed we will have to create new towns on the Green Belt rather than use up Brown field sites that could be used to get more community space back into built up areas?”


Chris

 

“Before we even get into that debate we have to look how imbalanced our economy is, such that London and the South East are a huge pull for jobs. At the same time, property here has become a financial asset creating a perfect storm in the form of the housing crisis. Meanwhile there are still areas out of London where property is relatively plentiful. We need to think carefully about the causes of the housing crisis, tackle those with policies such as regulating the rented sector and, yes of course, build more homes, including council housing. Where those homes are built will require engagement from local communities,  but fundamentally it has to be done within the framework of a more regionally balanced economy.”

 

Tony

“Do you subscribe to the Labour Broad church theory. Is the party broad enough to include those that are often referred to as Blairites?”


Chris

 

“I’m a believer in democracy. Every voice in the broad church should have a platform to share their views and rally support, such as in the leadership election three years ago. There Labour voters were almost denied having the option to vote for Jeremy because MPs almost kept him off the ballot. And luck at the result. I think no voice should be denied a place on that ballot paper, even Liz Kendal.”

 

Tony

“Do you agree that to ensure a Free Press some form of regulation is required?”


Chris

 

“We already have press regulation so yes of course. It’s currently not fit for purpose and so as a start we need to complete Leverson 2. It’s a scandal that the Tories dropped this.”

 

END

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