CO-OPERATIVE Party National Secretary Peter Hunt has declared himself "very happy" with the outcome after securing a significant Co-op dimension to Labour's manifesto for the next general election.
The three Co-op Party representatives on Labour's National Policy Forum ? Mr Hunt, chairman Gareth Thomas MP and NEC member Brenda Forster ? have worked tirelessly over the past year to influence the document and the paper being discussed at the Labour Party conference in Brighton this week shows their efforts have not been wasted.
The Co-op influence is reflected in five key sections and, says Mr Hunt, shows that Labour is not only listening to Co-op views, but is taking on board the Movement's values and philosophies when they shape their own policies.
"That's the most gratifying part of it," said Mr Hunt. "The Policy Forum document has a big Co-op content and flavour and offers exciting opportunities for a third term."
The culmination of the Co-op Party's campaign to influence the forthcoming Labour manifesto came at a Westminster seminar attended by Prime Minister Tony Blair and Labour Party chairman Ian McCartney.
Mr Blair acknowledged the Co-op Party's strong support for Labour in the past, but added: "We must focus on the future and look at how the co-operative ideals of empowering citizens to strengthen society can inspire a third term Labour Government."