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LABOUR Grassroots held a virtual launch party on Wednesday evening to kick off its nationwide tour of live events this summer.
Former shadow cabinet members John McDonnell and Rebecca Long Bailey joined hundreds of activists as they looked forward to a season of in-person rallies and shows between July and September.
The informal fundraising launch, also attended by socialist MPs Lloyd Russell-Moyle and Ian Byrne, follows the campaign group’s twice-weekly Zoom meetings throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Organiser Crispin Flintoff said the aim of the tour was to reunite activists and encourage local and national campaigns to recapture the energy which propelled Jeremy Corbyn to the Labour leadership in 2015.
The former party leader will be taking part alongside Baroness Shami Chakrabarti and anti-austerity campaigner and ex-Labour MP Laura Pidcock. The People’s Assembly and Stop the War Coalition will also make appearances during the summer.
While acknowledging the benefits of virtual meet ups, many speakers at the launch said they were excited about the prospect of holding physical rallies once again, with Mr McDonnell saying he was looking forward to “getting back on the road.”
Ahead of the launch, Mr Flintoff said the tour was vital to highlight radical voices as he felt Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was offering no opposition to the Tory government.
Mr Flintoff briefly appeared in a pre-recorded video impersonating Mr Corbyn’s successor, giving attendees a taste of the “heart-warming, entertaining, but very political” shows the tour will feature.
In character, he said: “I won’t be able to attend your live tour as I’m going to be out and about meeting Conservatives and Lib Dems and finding out why they won’t vote for me.”
More information about the tour can be found here: https://labourgrassroots.com/
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