Lancaster MP: ‘I will not speak ill of my colleagues’

Jeremy Corbyn with Cat Smith during a visit to Lancaster University.
Jeremy Corbyn with Cat Smith during a visit to Lancaster University.

A special meeting of Lancaster and Fleetwood Constituency Labour Party saw 71 members in favour of Jeremy Corbyn and 30 in favour of Owen Smith in the group’s supporting nomination vote.

Here, speaking exclusively to the Guardian, Lancaster MP Cat Smith talks about the current situation within the Labour Party, and why she will support whoever comes out on top in the leadership fight.

“In all our Labour Party goings on I think often of our long-standing Labour Party members who have worn out shoe leather for me and other Labour representatives canvassing door-to-door, delivering the latest newsletter or leaflet, staffing the stalls in town centre whilst sheltering under an umbrella from the best of British weather.

We will never be a party run by millionaires; we a are a party built on the back and the efforts of millions of ordinary working people doing extraordinary things to ensure working class voices are heard in our Parliament.

Without local Labour Party members at the last General Election I wouldn’t have been able to win this seat from the Conservatives.

Every “Labour Gain” that flashes up on the BBC on election night is the fruits of the labour of our members.

I didn’t win alone, I was part of an amazing team.

Last week the Lancaster and Fleetwood constituency party was convened to debate the merits of both candidates and voted on making a supporting nomination.

My local party members don’t have access to the political journalists in Westminster to brief off the record, they don’t attend the weekly Parliamentary Labour Party meetings and don’t witness what happens there, but their opinions do matter and I really wanted to hear their views and reflect them.

They voted 71 votes to 30 in favour of making a nomination for Jeremy Corbyn.

But regardless of which candidate wins, I won’t brief against anyone.

I will not speak ill of my colleagues just as I would not expect them to speak ill of me. We need a kinder politics and the best way I can argue for that is to live it out in my own life.

After all, I didn’t defeat a Tory MP in order to fight with Labour ones.”