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LOCAL and mayoral elections next year were hailed today as a chance for Labour to gain voters’ trust and put forward radical agendas.
Labour chairwoman and deputy leader Angela Rayner hosted The Road to May 2021 rally of Labour leaders in devolved nations, mayors, local government representatives and candidates.
The elections were to be held earlier this year but they were postponed for 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mark Drakeford, Labour’s First Minister for Wales, said that the “road to 2021 is like no other” as it will be influenced by “the sadness of coronavirus and the lessons we learn from it.”
He said that public services and social partnership should be central to Labour candidates’ manifestos, and that Labour had “to earn trust again” as well as have “a radical agenda for these radically different and difficult times.”
Ms Rayner said that Labour winning Scotland was essential to kicking the Tories out of Westminster.
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard called on the government to enact a Scotland-targeted job retention scheme when the current one runs out at the end of October, as “entire industries” are on the verge of being wiped out north of the border.
Mr Leonard added: “We cannot wait until next May, we need action to save jobs now.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that the elections on May 6 “will be the first opportunity for the British people to send a message to this government that we have had enough.”
He added: “From now until May let’s work harder than before to get people to vote Labour because we can, must and will do better.”
Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said that Labour needed to “lead and win the levelling-up debate” against the Conservative government.
He suggested to “keep the radicalism of recent years but blend it with a new realism about what Labour needs to do.”
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