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Harriet, Gloria and Yvette launch Labour's plan for women and families
Harriet Harman, Gloria De Piero and Yvette Cooper have launched Labour’s plan to enable women to fulfil their potential, as part of a wider plan to raise living standards for working families.

Plans include a new commitment to help grandparents who want to be more involved in caring for their grandchildren, by consulting on allowing grandparents to share in parents' unpaid parental leave, enabling them to take time off work without fear of losing their job.

Parents are increasingly relying on other family members to help them juggle work and childcare, particularly grandparents. More than half of all mothers rely on grandparents for childcare when they first go back to work after maternity leave, while two-thirds of grandparents with grandchildren aged under-16 provide some childcare.

Labour’s better plan for women’s equality:

  • Address the low pay that affects women most, by raising the Minimum Wage to more than £8 an hour by October 2019.
  • Support women and men to better balance work and care, by extending free childcare for working parents of three and four year olds from 15 to 25 hours a week.
  • Double paid paternity leave and increase paternity pay.
  • Consult on allowing grandparents to share in parents’ unpaid parental leave.
  • Work to close the gender pay gap, by requiring companies with over 250 employees to publish information on the gender pay gap and strengthening the law against maternity discrimination.
  • Support healthy relationships by introducing compulsory sex and relationship education.
  • Step up action to stop violence against women and girls, by appointing a new commissioner to enforce minimum standards in tackling domestic and sexual violence, and providing more stable central funding for women’s refuges and Rape Crisis Centres.
  • Lead by example in public life including through the use of all women shortlists in Labour parliamentary selection contests.

You can read in full women’s manifesto here.

Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Washington and Sunderland West and Shadow Equalities Minister, Sharon Hodgson said:

"When times are tough we need a government that will work with us and not against us. Labour women’s manifesto sets out a better plan for Britain's future, a plan that will support working families and reward hard work.

"The Tory-led government made families on average £1,100 worse off as a result of tax and benefit changes. Families can’t afford five more years of David Cameron. Women and families will be better off under Labour."

Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Carlisle, Lee Sherriff said:

“The number one complaint from Carlisle residents is the cost of living. It does not help either when a third of Carlisle women are earning less than the living wage.

"Labour is the only party that has a plan to address low pay - which mostly affects women, support families with better paternity leave and will work to drive up living standards in areas like Carlisle and across the north east."

Labour launch ‘A better future for women’, our plan to support women’s equality

Harriet Harman, Gloria De Piero and Yvette Cooper have launched Labour’s plan to enable women to fulfil their potential, as part of a wider plan to raise living standards for...

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A new ‘Local Policing Commitment’ will keep bobbies on the beat

The Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, will today say Labour will act to protect neighbourhood policing, which chief constables warn is under threat of disappearing altogether under the Tories extreme and risky spending plans.

Since 2010, 1402 police have been cut across the North East. Under the plans outlined by George Osborne in the Budget, even deeper cuts will be made to policing budgets in the next Parliament.

This is against a backdrop of rising serious crime. Violent crime is up, more rapes and child abuse are being reported, yet fewer cases are reaching court and convictions are down. And we are facing an increasing threat from terrorism, placing even more pressure on police Labour has a better plan – we have identified £800million of savings, allowing us to reinvest in the frontline and safeguard the jobs of 10,000 police officers across the country over three years that would otherwise be cut under the Tories.

Labour will do more to protect the frontline by ending Police & Crime Commissioners, stopping police subsidies for gun licenses and introducing a requirement for joint procurement and shared services.

Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper will say:

“Since 2010, 1402 police officers have been cut across the North East. When we face a growing threat from terrorism, when violent crime is up and when serious crimes – like rape, domestic abuse and child abuse – are on the rise, now is not the time to plan for even deeper cuts over the next five years.

“The Tories seem hell bent on destroying neighbourhood policing – they started the job in this Parliament and the extreme and risky spending plans set out by George Osborne in March suggest they want to finish it by 2020.

“Labour has a better plan. We won't take our public services back to the 1930s. And we have identified a series of efficiency savings – including ending Police & Crime Commissioners, stopping the police subsidy for gun licenses and requiring joint equipment contracts and shared back-office services, to reinvest into protecting the frontline – protecting 10,000 police officers over the next few years, including hundreds in the North East.”

Labour will guarantee neighbourhood policing in the North East

A new ‘Local Policing Commitment’ will keep bobbies on the beat The Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, will today say Labour will act to protect neighbourhood policing, which chief constables...

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The region’s Labour candidates have responded to the launch of Labour’s manifesto today.

Catherine McKinnell, Labour’s candidate for Newcastle North said:

“Ed Miliband has set out a clear and ambitious vision today of how Britain can and will be better for hardworking families across our region under a Labour Government.

“We’ve made a number of pledges on the issues that are raised time and again on the doorstep – on the cost of living, making work pay, energy bills, childcare, and on ensuring the next generation can get on in life – none of which require a single penny of extra borrowing.

“And probably the number one issue for local people is protecting our NHS. That’s why Labour has a clear, fully-funded plan to support the recruitment of tens of thousands of frontline staff to secure the vital services that so many of us rely on.  

“People in the North East want a responsible Government committed to deficit reduction – not one that makes unfunded election promises, or completely fails in its pledge to balance the books.

 “The North East needs a Labour Government – to improve the lives of local people, and to secure the nation’s finances in a fair way.”

Alan Campbell, Labour’s candidate for Tynemouth said: 

“Labour’s manifesto offers real change and real help for the North East. 

 “Ordinary working people have been given a raw deal for the last five years by David Cameron. This has been a recovery built on jobs that are often low paid with nearly 30,000 reliant on zero contracts in this region alone. 

“Labour’s manifesto is a better plan that puts the interests of working people first. We’ll protect the tax credits that help many working families get through the month, we’ll also increase the minimum wage of £8 an hour by 2019, boosting the pay of 76,000 workers in the North East. 

“We’re also offering a better plan for our NHS & schools, with 1,300 extra nurses and 500 extra GPs in this region & improved and expanded childcare.

“The manifesto also sets out our commitment to devolving power down to this region and ensure our local councils get the fairer funding they deserve. I welcome plans to ensure decisions on economic development, skills, housing and especially transport will be increasingly taken at a local level.  

“These are ambitious and fully-costed proposals that will change the North East for the better.” 

Jamie Reed, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Copeland, said:

“Labour’s Better Plan clearly shows that hard working families in West Cumbria will be better off with a Labour Government

“By raising the minimum wage, by banning exploitative zero-hours contracts, by guaranteeing apprenticeships for school leavers, by protecting working tax credits and by providing 25 hours of free, high quality childcare, every family can benefit from our plan. Whether our young people are getting ready to start school, are at school, or are thinking about their careers, this plan will help everyone to succeed and to grow a vibrant, secure local economy.

“The future of our community is brighter than it has ever been. Despite the tough times under the Conservatives, we are now poised to turn Copeland into a place where everyone has a chance to share in the bright economic future we are building and where nobody is locked out of economic opportunity. Labour’s better plan will deliver that bright future”

These are ambitious and fully-costed proposals that will change the North East and Cumbria for the better

The region’s Labour candidates have responded to the launch of Labour’s manifesto today.

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Campaign Notebook

Campaign Notebook catches up with Louise Baldock, our Labour & Co-operative candidate for Stockton South…

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Why do you want to be the MP for Stockton South?

Having spent most of my life living and working here, it is an area I am passionate about. In a miserable echo of the 80s I have watched my community suffer under a Tory-lead Government with youth unemployment far too high while many of their parents are in low paid, insecure jobs. The bedroom tax has punished hundreds of local families, many of them disabled while food banks and charities are feeding our hungry children. I can’t sit idly by but want to lead the fight for a fairer more equitable country.

What do you like about Stockton South constituency?

It is a really varied place, a microcosm of the wider country. People from all types of backgrounds living in old and new communities, where heritage and history meets the 21st century; rural, urban and suburban with beautiful award winning parks and lovely countryside and of course the people are absolutely great.


What is the number one issue on the doorstep?

The NHS is certainly raised a lot, particularly GP waiting times. In parts of the constituency patients can wait three weeks to see their Doctor. People were raising this with me 2 years ago well before Labour’s pledge to bring back the 48 hour guarantee so it has been great to have a solution to offer.

What is the key to a successful campaign?

For me nothing will ever beat knocking on doors, talking with people about the things that matter to them and building relationships. If you can offer good policy solutions to the issues that people raise and show you have been listening then you can win their support. Never take the electorate for granted, never stop listening and never stop putting them first.

Who is your political hero?

I admire strong, doughty fighters like Ellen Wilkinson, Bessie Braddock, Barbara Castle and Mo Mowlam; women who were never frightened to speak out for their communities or challenge the status quo. They were indefatigable and passionate, fighting injustice, inequality and poverty of opportunity, taking up vital causes and making them their own, always leading from the front. They have inspired generations of ordinary women like me to strive for a better world rather than accept for our communities the crumbs from the table.

Candidate Q&A: Stockton South’s Louise Baldock

Campaign Notebook catches up with Louise Baldock, our Labour & Co-operative candidate for Stockton South…

bryn.jpgAt the last general election 16-18 year old were not given a say on issues that affected them, thousands of students had their EMA taken away and thousands more found out that they’d now have to pay £9000 a year for their university tuition. Issues like this affect young people too much for them not to be given a voice to object. If we don’t give them a voice it gives the government the opportunity to target them even more, knowing that they have no right of reply. 

In this country we place enough responsibility on 16 year olds to allow them to join the armed forces and even to pay income tax and National insurance, if 16 year olds are responsible enough to serve the country and are paying into the system they ought to have a say on how the system is run.

We’ve seen last September in the Scottish referendum the impact that giving young people a political voice can have. Young people showing an interest in politics can drive the debate forward and offer fresh perspectives on a range of issues. The inclusion of 16 year olds led to a whole country becoming politically motivated and dispelled the myth that young people aren’t interested in politics. If we give 16 year olds the ability to change things then we see how interested they can be.

The Labour Party will improve citizenship and political education in schools to ensure that the next generation of young voters will have the tools to make an educated decision on who they want to run their country, as well as encouraging them to register in school and looking at ways to make voting easier for young people, if we lower the voting age to 16 we could see the most politically enthused group of young voters that we’ve ever seen.

This issue is so important because young people can make a difference with their vote, in many constituencies in the country the number of 16 and 17 year olds on the register would exceed the sitting MP’s majority. This shows the incredible power 16 and 17 year olds could have and should have to change the country for the better.

Bryn de Ivy, is a sixth form student from Newcastle upon Tyne

Let’s give 16 and 17 year olds the vote

At the last general election 16-18 year old were not given a say on issues that affected them, thousands of students had their EMA taken away and thousands more found...

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Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls was in the north east yesterday campaigning in Redcar and Stockton South. Have a look at our storify of Ed's day with us…

Ed Balls, Lemon Tops and selfies

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls was in the north east yesterday campaigning in Redcar and Stockton South. Have a look at our storify of Ed's day with us…

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