HomeLatest NewsThe first TUSC council candidates are agreed, kicking off the general election...

The first TUSC council candidates are agreed, kicking off the general election year

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TUSC candidate Nadia Ditta speaking at a packed public meeting in Southampton’s Bevois ward.

The January meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) all-Britain steering committee approved the first batch of candidates to contest the local council elections on May 2nd, kicking off the year in which a general election must be called – if, indeed, as is possible, it isn’t actually held on the same May 2nd date.

Thirty-eight candidates were agreed at the January 10th meeting, a record for TUSC at this early point in the nomination process, reflecting a growing determination that Sir Keir Starmer’s Tory-lite New Labour party should not be left unchallenged at the ballot box. 

This was the mood, for example, of the hundred-plus public meeting in Southampton’s Bevois ward in late December that introduced the local community worker Nadia Ditta as the TUSC candidate (see https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/119359/20-12-2023/southampton-bevois-ready-to-support-one-of-their-own-as-tusc-candidate/), one of those endorsed by the January steering committee. 

For many in attendance, Starmer’s complicity in following the Tory government’s support for Israel’s barbarous war against the Palestinians was the final straw.  As it says in the TUSC local elections core policy platform, updated at the steering committee meeting, “if they won’t protest against the destruction of Gaza, its people firstly but also the infrastructure essential to a functioning society, what confidence can we have that they will fight to protect local services, jobs, wages and benefits here?”  (The full platform can be seen at https://www.tusc.org.uk/20023/13-01-2024/tuscs-core-policy-platform-for-the-may-2024-local-elections-2/).

Agreeing thirty-eight candidates in January is only a start, of course, with the steering committee in favour of the widest possible stand in May.  Council elections, contesting control of over one fifth of all public spending, are important in themselves in the fight against austerity and the cost-of-living crisis.  But they are also a vital spring-board for a general election challenge too, the details of which TUSC will be discussing with others at a Convention of left-wing organisations on February 3rd (see https://www.tusc.org.uk/19975/23-12-2023/preparing-for-a-general-election-challenge-convention-update/).

The full list of council candidates agreed so far can be found at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Candidates-list-to-24-01-10.pdf.  The next steering committee meeting to discuss candidate applications will take place on February 14th, with completed application forms needing to be received by the TUSC National Election Agent – Clive Heemskerk, at [email protected] – by Saturday 10th February in order to be placed on the agenda for this meeting.

The TUSC Council Candidate Application Form can be downloaded at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/2024-Application-form-Cllr.docx (if you are having difficulty opening this link, try copying it into your browser) and an explanatory TUSC Guide for Election Candidates and Agents can be found on the resources page, at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/TUSC-Guide-for-Candidates-Agents-2024.pdf.

A list of the 105 councils with elections in May 2024 is also available, in the TUSC directory of elections, at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/2024-Elections-Directory.pdf). ■



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