Why I am voting for David Miliband

Here is a letter I have sent to all Labour Members in Ilford South


26 August 2010


Dear friend


I am writing to thank you for your support and contribution to our magnificent victory in Ilford South  and  to set out my views about a matter of great importance - the future of our Party and our country. Despite our hard fought campaign  Labour won just 29% of the vote nationally on May 6th. The  ruthless, right wing Conservative/Liberal Democrat government has a big majority and in just  100 days has already inflicted terrible damage.


Britain urgently needs a strong Labour party with a strong leader to stand up to David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions week after week and to speak up for our people.   We are not just electing  a leader of the Opposition but also the next Labour Prime Minister. Millions depend on us to choose someone who can win again soon, whether in a few months with the collapse of the coalition or in 5 years time.  Having seen all five candidates at close hand in Parliament, on the basis of his experience, intelligence and ability I have nominated David Miliband to be our Leader.  I am pleased that the special Ilford South members meeting held in July also voted overwhelmingly to nominate David.


David was raised in a left wing family and joined the party in 1983. He worked for John Smith on social justice policy and the national minimum wage. David was a major contributor in writing the 1997 manifesto which brought Labour back into government. As Education Minister he began the rebuilding or refurbishing every school in the country. While Environment Secretary David created the Climate Change Act  the world’s first legally binding limit to emissions.  As Foreign Secretary he stood up for human rights in the Middle East, Pakistan,  Sri Lanka and elsewhere.


David has set out how he wants Britain to change and the alternative to the Tory cuts agenda -   a mansion tax on houses worth more than £2million instead of cutting housing benefits to families; cutting tax subsidies  to private schools instead of cutting  free school meals for children;  for a living wage  for those at the bottom and for trade union representation on  committees setting pay for top Business Executives;  the need to invest in industry and especially on new, green technologies;  by attracting the best teachers, reforming the curriculum to make it exciting and relevant, and providing more opportunities for young people from the poorest backgrounds to get to university.


David has shown his commitment to rebuilding the party and investing in party members by training over 1000 party members in community organiser skills. He has pledged to double party membership and to empower local parties by replacing the Labour Supporters Network with a real recruitment resource. David has shown his commitment to debate and democracy in the party by backing a Party Chair elected by the membership, and by using his own nomination for Diane Abbott to ensure a wider debate in this contest.  I believe that a vote for David is a vote to get Labour values back at the heart of Britain. I hope that you will give David your first preference.  If you don't then please give him your second preference.


                                                                     Best wishes.




                                                                    MIKE GAPES MP



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