Socialist Worker

Tapping into the anger outside London

Issue No. 2097

Respect members are standing Left List candidates in the local council elections across England and Wales on 1 May.

In Preston they are contesting four wards for the Left List.

The most important of these is the Town Centre ward, where Mukhtar Master is standing. Mukhtar, a local trade unionist and chair of Preston Stop the War Coalition, came second when he stood in the ward in 2006 – losing by just seven votes.

It is a multi-member ward and Respect councillor Michael Lavalette was re-elected for the seat last year.

The campaign is on to the second canvass of the ward and Mukhtar reports that the vote is holding up well.

“This is a crucial part of the campaign,” he told Socialist Worker. “We need to make sure that we get all our supporters out to vote on the day.

“For the last few years I have supported Michael’s work in the ward. If I am elected we will have two councillors – it will help us to effectively raise local, national and international issues.”

Respect is breaking new ground by standing in Doncaster for the first time.

Widespread

Candidate John Westmoreland, who is standing in Central ward, says the campaign is tapping into widespread anger with New Labour, particularly over plans to turn two local schools into academies.

In Manchester, Respect members Nahella Ashraf and Sue McPherson are standing as Left List candidates.

Supporters were out in both wards canvassing last week and plan to make a big splash with cavalcades at the weekend.

Campaigners report a good response leafleting parents outside schools in the wards with arguments explaining why everyone should back the teachers’ strike on 24 April and vote for the Left List on 1 May.

Supporters report a good response for Raghib Ahsan who is standing in Birmingham Handsworth.

Campaigners leafleted the entire ward in just one day and are now canvassing door-to-door.

There are also lively campaigns under way in Leeds, Bolton, Swansea, Cardiff, Sheffield, Portsmouth, Oxford, Newcastle, Sunderland, Cambridge and Walsall.

For more information or to get involved in the campaigns, go to » www.respectcoalition.org or phone 020 8983 9671


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