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Wealden PC Chris Bowers greets the Labour Party election news with cautious optimism

April 6, 2020 12:02 PM
By Katrina Best
Chris Bowers, Oct 2019 - photo by Katie VandyckWealden's Liberal Democrat PC and Parliamentary Spokesperson Chris Bowers greeted the news that Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have been elected as the Labour Party's new Leader and Deputy Leader respectively with positivitity and cautious optimism, saying he hopes that this marks the beginning of a new era of progressive cross-party cooperation and bridge building. Speaking shortly after the announcement was made on Saturday April 4th, Chris commented, "I think all people who believe in working towards a compassionate and just society should welcome the fact that Labour is now led by someone who understands the broad range of progressive views somewhat better than his predecessor did. What we will be looking for now are signs that Keir Starmer understands the need to work across party boundaries, and doesn't continue Labour's habit of thinking it can offer an alternative to the Conservatives all on its own. He will have to tread carefully, but we should be willing to embrace hints that he is willing to build bridges.

"In Angela Rayner, he has a deputy leader who understands at first hand what it's like to have to struggle to survive. She has emerged from a challenging childhood to become one of the most admired MPs in Westminster today. Let's hope they can both use their respective experiences to work with others to create a truly modern Britain."
Yesterday's subsequent announcement that Keir Starmer has appointed several woman to senior shadow cabinet roles, including Lisa Nandy as Shadow Foreign Secretary and Anneliese Dodds as the first ever female Shadow Chancellor, has been widely praised and is another reason to feel hopeful about the future of progressive politics. While national unity is of course important during the global Covid-19 pandemic - as demonstrated by the current outporing of well wishes for the now-hospitalised PM Boris Johnson from across all political parties and none - it is also still vital to have a robust and effective opposition made up of MPs who are willing and able to work across party lines for the greater good of all UK citizens.
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