Socialist Worker

FBU union leader Matt Wrack slams his critics in Labour

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2492

FBU leader Matt Wrack marching in Essex against job cuts in 2012

FBU leader Matt Wrack marching in Essex against job cuts in 2012 (Pic: Kelvin Williams)

FBU firefighter’s union general secretary Matt Wrack said he won’t be rattled by “people within the Labour party machine who clearly don’t want to see change”. In an exclusive interview with Socialist Worker Wrack responded to claims this week that his attempt to rejoin the Labour Party was questioned by his local party of Leyton and Wanstead, north east London.

Wrack said, “I don’t know where the person writing that report got his information from. I believe only one person voted against. That’s what I was told by people who were at the meeting.”

The FBU voted overwhelmingly to reaffiliate to Labour last November, having been unaffiliated since 2004. Yet Wrack’s application has reportedly gone to the party’s ruling national executive for approval.

“I was expelled from Labour 25 years ago. The fact that you have to go through this process after 25 years, and having led a union into affiliation. It didn’t go down very well with other people on our union’s executive.”

Wrack argued that the left in the trade unions need to be organised politically.

He said, “If we want a Labour Party that’s more focused on workers’ issues then workers have got to make those demands within their organisations.

“A debate needs to be had about what happens next on the ground. My view is that we can’t just wait until 2020 and hope that a Labour government gets elected.

“The best chance of getting a Corbyn government elected is actually fighting now.”

Continuing our series Debates on the Left you can read the full interview with Matt Wrack in next week’s issue of Socialist Worker, out on Tuesday evening

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