Co-operative Party general secretary, Karin Christiansen, is stepping down from the role after the 2015 party conference season.
“It has been a great honour to lead the Co-operative Party for the last three years,” she said. “I am particularly proud of our successful ‘Keep it Co-op’ campaign which saw the reaffirmation of the historic link between the Co-operative Party and the Co-operative Group at their AGM in May. Now this has been achieved, and the relationship assured, it is time to hand over to a new general secretary to develop and inspire the co-operative movement’s relationship with politics for the future.
“It has not been an easy period for the co-operative movement, or the Party. But even in this context we have worked with the movement to champion community energy, convince government to establish a credit union for the armed forces, promoted co-operative schools and raised the profile of other co-operative ideas in political and policy circles.”
Ms Christiansen was the Party’s first female general secretary since its foundation 98 years ago. Prior to her appointment in 2012, she spent a decade working in international development and was a founder of LabourValues, founder and director of Publish What You Fund, policy manger with ONE and for many years a research fellow at the Overseas Development Institute. In 2011, Karin was named as one of the Devex London 2011 40 Under 40 International Development Leaders.
“Karin has been a fantastic general secretary and I want to thank her on behalf of the whole Party for her hard work and commitment,” said Gareth Thomas MP, chair of the Co-operative Party NEC.
“Under Karin’s leadership, the Party has been through a challenging period but has come out of it stronger than before. As a result of this work the Party now has a platform to move forward, working with the co-operative movement, to make the case afresh for a more co-operative society and a flourishing co-operative sector.”
The Co-operative Party is now beginning the process of recruiting a new general secretary.
“I cannot thank enough the great team, our National Executive Committee, our dedicated political representatives and in particular our wonderful members for all their energy and commitment. They have been instrumental in strengthening and rejuvenating the Party in recent years,” added Ms Christiansen.