Published On: Wed, Jan 8th, 2020

Labour deputy leadership candidate calls for end to ‘divisive’ anonymous briefings

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan – one of six candidates for the Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party – has published an open letter calling on all candidates to pledge to run their campaigns in a ‘clean and positive manner’.

In an open letter to all the other candidates for Leader and Deputy Leader, Doctor Rosena calls on all candidates to avoid both personal attacks and anonymous briefings from campaign ‘sources’, as well as to maintain a tone of respectful disagreement and to pledge to support the winners no matter what.

The past week has seen anonymous briefings from rival camps. A supporter of a rival candidate to Rebecca Long Bailey recently told Sky News: “I hear Wrong Daily’s campaign is in chaos.” Another anonymous Labour source told ITV: “Momentum/leadership have totally destroyed the selection rules and can’t even protect their own people.”

The full text of the open letter to all candidates from Doctor Rosena Allin-Khan is below:

Dear fellow Leadership and Deputy Leadership candidates,

For too long, our party has been dogged by infighting, division and attack. I’m sure we all want this race to be based on our positive vision for Labour and the country – not underground warfare with personal attacks. It is what people across the country want and expect from us.

The next Leader and Deputy Leader needs to carry our party’s full support without having to heal the divisions of a bitter contest.

Will you add your names to a pledge to run a clean and positive campaign, and agree to the following:

  • No personal attacks. We will not personally attack any other candidate, either ourselves or through our supporters.
  • Call out personal attacks on others. We will call out personal attacks on other candidates.
  • No anonymous sources or comments. When disagreeing or commenting on other candidates and their campaigns – our spokespeople will not be anonymous.
  • A positive social media experience. Too often Twitter in particular has seemed like a cesspit of negative attacks which has done damage to our movement overall, it also affects our mental health – we must encourage a positive discussion and discourage anonymous accounts.
  • Respectful disagreement, not public enemies. We can disagree with each other’s visions, but we are not public enemies, language used must be carefully considered to match the spirit of the campaign.
  • Pledge to support the winners. To rebuild, heal and prepare for the next election – no one person is bigger than the Labour Party or the pressing needs of the country – we must pledge to back the winners.

We have all served the Labour Party and our communities in our own way, we all offer a unique set of experiences and can all bring something to the table. We are not in opposition to ourselves and must run this campaign in the spirit of uniting our party and bringing about the change which will help us win the next General Election.

I hope you will sign this. Thank you,

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP, Labour MP for Tooting

This is part of a series of LFF coverage on the leadership/deputy leadership race. We aim to provide a platform for all candidates. Get in touch if you have a take on the race: editor@leftfootforward.org

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