In his final report, Jeremy spoke about Covid-19 and how we are living through unprecedented times unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetimes. He spoke about the need for strong action to slow the spread of the virus and support the country, and about how the impact will be particularly felt by those with the least resources.
Jeremy has been in lengthy discussions with the Prime Minister. The government has seemed behind the curve in responding to the outbreak, which has also highlighted issues of poor quality housing, overcrowding and low-paid and insecure work. Jeremy also reflected on his time as leader of the Labour Party and the changes that have occurred during his leadership. National executive committee (NEC) members thank Jeremy, with some members paying emotional tributes to him and his leadership.
The national executive committee highlighted the important work of everyone across the UK who has kept the country running during the crisis. From the shop, postal and transport workers and haulage drivers, to the builders, teachers, cleaners, carers, local government workers, emergency services and our amazing NHS staff – we owe everyone an enormous debt. When this is over we should make sure as a country that we recognise and value all our workers and give them the respect – and pay and conditions – they have always deserved.
Jennie Formby gave the general secretary’s report with an update on Labour’s Covid-19 response, the work of the nations and regions and the leadership election. Plans are underway for the announcement of the leader and deputy leader elections. The original conference format is being adapted. The results will be announced and followed by speeches from the new leader and deputy leader.
Nick Forbes gave the local government report, with an update about all the work that Labour councils are doing to support communities during the outbreak. Nick also highlighted the work councils are doing coordinating volunteering and community groups during the crisis. Jennie has also emailed all councillors to thank them for all their efforts during this difficult time.
The next NEC meeting is in May. Hopefully by then we may be able to meet together in person. In the meantime, if anyone is bored at home and wants to learn more about Covid-19, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where I work has a free online short course accessible here. Take care and stay safe.