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Paddy Lillis delivers a message of unity and purpose to the Labour Party Conference

Date: 25 September 2016 Deputy General Secretary of the shopworkers’ trade union Paddy Lillis has opened Labour Party Conference, as Chair of the National Executive Committee, calling for party unity and a sense of purpose to take on and defeat the Conservatives.
Congratulating Jeremy Corbyn on his re-election, Paddy Lillis – Usdaw Deputy General Secretary said: “This reflects the desire amongst party members for a radical alternative to the Tories austerity agenda. We have seen a lot of changes in the last year, but one thing remains the same and that is we need to win the next general election.

“Labour exists to fight social injustice, to campaign for equality and to ensure everyone in society is guaranteed a decent standard of living. We have a duty and responsibility to the people and the communities we represent; to get ourselves into a position where we can win the next general election. We must win, because without winning our principles and policies mean nothing.

“Whatever our differences, we must remember that what unites us is more than what divides us. We have not always shown enough respect to each other. Not enough listening and not enough genuine discussion about policies. We must never forget we are all on the same side.

“The Labour Party is a broad church. We will only be successful as a party if we acknowledge each other’s contribution to the movement. So if we are going to move forward as a party we don’t want to deselect the MPs we already have; we need to be working to add to their number by getting more Labour MPs elected. The deselections we want to see is Tory MPs losing their seats to Labour at the next general election.

“I pay tribute to the members of the National Executive Committee, who take difficult decisions in the best interests of the party. I also want to give credit to Iain McNicol, the General Secretary of the Labour Party, and the huge contribution of all the staff employed by the Labour Party. It is only right to acknowledge their work, commitment and dedication to this great party.

“We need to turn our attention to the policy agenda. Let us debate, discuss and take decisions in the spirit of unity. Let us organise ourselves as an effective opposition to the Tories and prepare ourselves to campaign to win.”

Notes for Editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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