Anna Turley voted chair of the Co-op Party

'I look forward to working with co-operators, members, elected representatives, the wider movement and our great staff team'

Anna Turley, Labour/Co-op MP for Redcar, has been elected chair of the Co-operative Party’s national executive committee.

She replaces fellow MP Gareth Thomas, who announced his decision to stand down last month, after nearly 20 years in the role.

Ms Turley said: “It is a genuine honour to be selected by my colleagues on the Co-operative Party’s NEC to serve as its chair. It is a hugely exciting time for the Party and I am determined to play my part in its future success and growth.

“I would like to pay tribute to our out-going chair, Gareth Thomas, who has done so much for the Party and the movement. He steps down with the best wishes and gratitude of the whole NEC and Party. I know he remains a committed and passionate co-operator and will continue to be a fantastic advocate for co-operative change.

“I look forward to working with co-operators, members, elected representatives, the wider movement and our great staff team to help ensure that co-operation continues to thrive and our values and principles are heard at decision-making tables across the UK.”

Ms Turley was first elected MP in 2015 and sat on Jeremy Corbyn’s first shadow cabinet until the June 2016 frontbench revolt against his leadership, when she and a number of colleagues resigned from the shadow cabinet, triggering Owen Smith’s unsuccessful leadership challenge.

She is secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Steel and Metal Related Industries and has campaigned throughout her time as MP to protect the steel industry in her Redcar constituency.

She also sits on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee, and formerly sat on the Home Affairs Select Committee.

The Party is now looking for a new general secretary, with Claire McCarthy due to move on from post next month.

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