Co-op Party sets out general election campaign focus

The campaign will focus on food poverty, the climate emergency and ending privatisation

The UK’s Co-operative Party has launched a campaign to raise £20,000 and set out its campaign focus in a bid to help elect Labour & Co-operative MPs. The announcement comes after the confirmation of a general election on 12 December. 

The Party believes the fundraiser is a crucial step in “making the case for a Britain where power and wealth are shared”. In an email, general secretary Joe Fortune highlighted areas the Party will highlight in the campaign, including a right to food, the climate emergency and public ownership.

On tackling the climate emergency, the Party aims to advance its Co-operative Green New Deal, using community-powered solutions to meet a 2030 zero-carbon target. On food poverty, it aims to enshrine a ‘Right to Food’ in UK law, “because in the sixth-richest country in the world, nobody should go hungry”.

Food poverty has been a strong area of focus for the Party in recent months, with distinct legislative lobbying in Wales, Scotland and England.

Related: Co-op Party conference pledges to fight for a fairer economy

“We are asking for the SNP to live up to its promise of a Good Food Nation Bill and asking for a right to food to be incorporated in this,” says the Party. The Welsh government is consulting on new national milestones and is being asked to continue to support food co-operatives. The organisation also wants to see UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 (a commitment to zero hunger by 2030) incorporated into wider UK law.

“The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are well-known and form part of our obligations to support developing countries,” says the Party. “Less well known is that they apply domestically. The second SDG is ‘zero hunger by 2030’ … incorporating SDG2 into domestic law would send a powerful signal about the UK’s commitment to addressing food poverty.”

The Party also wants to end privatisation to “ensure utilities and transport are brought back into democratic public ownership, run by their staff and customers”.

“We will reject a no-deal Brexit and back a People’s Vote on Boris Johnson’s disastrous deal, because the British people should have the final say on Brexit,” added Mr Fortune. “And we will work towards doubling the size of the co-operative movement, support small businesses, and generate wealth from the bottom up.

“These are your ideas, and we’ll be fighting flat-out to make them policies in a Labour and Co-operative government … we cannot wait to get out there to work and win together.”

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