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Good evening everyone,

A Happy New Year to you all. I'm back in your inbox with a reminder about tomorrow's policy-making session, with NPF member Lisa Banes and Trafford cllr Joanne Harding, and a new article from Progressive Voices— also about policy, but focusing on those important to the red wall.

There's also some info on how you can help elect some great Labour candidates to Holyrood by doing some phone banking, either in your own time or with fellow activists and campaigners.

Plus, a PMQs round-up and some job vacancies that you might be interested in.

See you Friday,


You've still got time to sign up for tomorrow's zoom session, with NPF member Lisa Banes and Trafford cllr Joanne Harding, where we'll discuss how we can open up policy-making and encourage engagement with our neighbours and local communities.

Just before Christmas, the party launched the 2021 policy development review, aimed at making our policy-making processes the best that they can be (https://labour.org.uk/page/policy-development-review/) . Progress and Labour to Win are collaborating on a joint submission and we want you to inform our thinking and proposals.

When: Thur, Jan 13 @ 6pm
Register Here (https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUqcOupqzIpHdzz6CDEwNs94BnufkdZcpJW)

Winning back Scotland is vital for the Labour Party to win back power in Westminster.

Whilst Covid-19 has presented challenges to the more traditional methods of campaigning, it has never been easier to canvass in seats across the UK. Dialogue, the Labour Party’s online platform for phone canvassing, is a really easy to use tool. You can canvass in any constituency at any time from the comfort of your own home.

You may wish to do a bit of calling independently at a time that suits you but if you’d benefit from canvassing together, Labour to Win are hosting a Super Saturday session on zoom. Labour to Win are canvassing ahead of the Scottish Parliament election this May for Jackie Baillie MSP, Daniel Johnson MSP and Martin Whitfield. These are Labour's fantastic candidates fighting to hold the three constituency MSP seats we currently have in the Scottish Parliament.

Please sign up to the Super Saturday session here:

Sign up for Super Saturday (https://bit.ly/35yHHuy)
More information on why to canvass in Scotland, when to phone bank and instructions on dialogue and the candidates can be found in Labour to Win’s handbook.
LtW Phonebank Handbook (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pfngpe4c-pJbuagMBUMe8WnY2eWjSMkc/view)

In December, Sally Gimson produced a pamphlet for the Fabian Society on lessons that Labour can draw from red wall seat Bassetlaw (https://fabians.org.uk/publication/building-bridges/) , which turned blue in 2019's general election with a huge swing from Labour to Tory.

For the Progressive Voices blog, Rachael Agnew reviewed the pamphlet and gave her thoughts on what it means for Labour's red wall policy going forwards. A must-read, check it out here:

Read Rachael Agnew on Sally Gimson's red wall policy pamphlet (http://progressonline.org.uk/review-of-sally-gimsons-building-bridges/)

In the first PMQs of the year, attention was focused on two issues: the virus and free school meals.

Beginning with the former, Keir Starmer asked Boris Johnson when 24/7 vaccine centres would be open to the public. The PM referred the Labour leader to Matt Hancock and said there is currently a limit on supplies of the vaccine. AstraZeneca UK's president has now told the Commons Science & Tech Committee that the company is scaling up production to 2-million doses per week. (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/covid-vaccine-uk-astrazeneca-b1786684.html)

Keir highlighted the need for more doses and 24/7 centres to protect the NHS and the economy before criticising Johnson for his wayward claims in the last PMQs of 2020 that there was 'significant reduction in the virus and [...] no need to change rules'.

'Since then, 17,000 have died of COVID, 60,000 have been admitted to hospital, and there has been over a million new cases', said the Labour leader. 'How did he get it so wrong and why was he so slow to act?'

Johnson's reply, that he was informed by SAGE two days later— on Dec 18th— of the increased transmissibility of the new strain, was immediately slapped down by his opposite number. Keir reminded the chamber that the minutes from the Dec 22nd meeting (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/948606/s0991-sage-meeting-74-covid-19.pdf) (which confirmed advice already given to the government) show that SAGE had warned of the new varient and told the PM that November-style lockdowns would not suffice to suppress it. 'How on earth', asked Keir, 'could a tier system be an answer to the advice that was given? Every time there is a big decision to make, the Prime Minister arrives late'.

Turning to free school meals, the Labour leader asked the PM's opinion on the 'disgraceful' free school meal packages, pictures of which have been doing the rounds on social media. 'Would he be happy with his kids living on that? And if not, why is he happy for other peoples’ kids to do so?'

Johnson also called the images 'disgraceful' before going on to claim that under his government, 'no child will go hungry as a result of pandemic privations'. A claim met with jeers from some members in the chamber.

'It shouldn't have taken social media to shake the PM into action', responded Keir. He then dismantled Johnson's defense by reading out the example parcel for five days of food given by Department of Education guidance and compared it to the parcels seen on social media. Keir tweeted the clear similarities from his Twitter later in the afternoon (https://twitter.com/Keir_Starmer/status/1349333941908602889?s=20) .

Lastly, some jobs that you might be interested in — vacancies with LFI and the Center for Countering Digital Hate.

Click on the links below for more details...

http://www.w4mpjobs.org/JobDetails.aspx?jobid=76992 https://www.counterhate.co.uk/jobs (http:// http://www.w4mpjobs.org/JobDetails.aspx?jobid=76992)

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