One-hundred-and-twenty years ago in the Congregational Memorial Hall in central London, the Labour Party was born.
Keir Hardie passed a motion establishing “a distinct Labour group in Parliament” that would stand up for the working class.
It brought together trade unions and socialist societies to form a single, united movement.
Since then, we have had our ups and down – our victories and our defeats.
But together we have achieved so much.
We have made the impossible possible.
We have been the greatest force for social change this country has known.
We created the National Health Service, passed the Equal Pay Act, introduced the Minimum Wage, created Sure Start, decriminalised homosexuality, took a million children out of poverty and helped bring about peace in Northern Ireland.
But we only achieved those things in power.
In government, Labour can change lives. In opposition, we can’t.
That is why December’s election result was so devastating.
More so, because it was our fourth defeat in a row. By 2024 we will have been out of power for 14 years. A whole generation will have grown up knowing nothing but Conservative Prime Ministers.
The task ahead of us is huge, but I’m standing to be leader of the Labour Party because I believe it is a mountain we must climb.
First, we need to unite. How can we expect people to trust us if we spend more time fighting ourselves than the Tories?
Second, we must be an incredibly effective opposition to Boris Johnson. We have to pin him down day in day out and expose his failures in government.
We need a programme for the 2020s and 2030s that is every bit as transformative as the one Hardie set out 120 years ago
The best moments of our history have shown that only Labour can tackle injustices. Today we see injustice everywhere: the climate emergency causing flooding across the country, rampant inequality, a cruel social security system and a broken housing market.
If I am elected Labour leader, it will be my mission to win back the trust of Mirror readers and to show that Labour, once again, can be a force for good and a force for change.
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