‘My generation is a selfish generation’ – states Labour’s Emily Thornberry 

Labour leadership candidate Emily Thornberry pleads with her generation to understand the needs of young people in Britain.

The Shadow Foreign Secretary raised the point at Open Labour’s hustings event at Nottingham Trent University on Sunday.

She said: “I think that’s what appeals to young people is that labour gets it.

“They get there is real intergenerational injustice, that my generation is a selfish generation.”

The candidate added: “We are the ones that are warming up the planet, we are the ones with the houses, we are the ones with the pension funds.

“We got grants, we were able to set up our homes and our lives, whereas students have precarious lives and there needs to be people within my selfish generation who realise that and who are going to do something about it.”

The event saw candidates Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Emily Thornberry questioned on a number of different topics at the unofficial hustings.

The 4th candidate Keir Starmer was unable to attend due to family illness.

Talking to shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, her emphasis was on membership growth.

“Well, it’s about trying to build up a bigger movement than we have at the moment.

“I want us to get to a million members, we’re at 5,000 or so at the moment and the way we’re going to restore faith in politics is going out in the community and being part of the community and building our message from the grassroots up.

“That involves young people, students, older people right across the board but it’s also about having a vision that inspires hope.”

On Jeremy Corbyn, she added: “I think people got excited about Jeremy because he was setting out hope for the future and completely shifting the way our economy works and people were quite excited about that as for a long time, we became a bit jaded about politics.

“With Jeremy, he said, ‘don’t accept anything less than the best’ and that’s what our party should always say.”

Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan is excited for young people to deliver change within the party:

“I think the energy that a lot of young people have brought to the party is really exciting, it’s like me when I joined the Labour party, I didn’t just sign a petition and get my MP to deliver change I wanted to be part of that change.

“I’ve seen young people who’ve come in and done the most incredible things setting up energy co-ops housing co-ops, you know actually delivering the change that we’re going to need to tell people about at the next election if we’re going to win back people’s trust.

“So I think we need a sort of changed Labour Party the reconnection with our grassroots and becoming a grassroots movement again that I outlined today is exactly the place where I hope young people like that who’ve come into the party in recent years not just a home but actually a role in driving the party forwards and creating a country we want to see.”

Video by Elliot Ball and Eve Watson

The event was organised by Open Labour, an activist group within the Labour party.

There was also the chance for Labour members to quiz the potential Labour deputy leader candidates Angela Rayner, Dawn Butler, Ian Murray, Richard Burgeon and Dr Rosena Allin-Khan.

Both debates were chaired by journalist and writer Rachel Shabi.

By Elliot Ball and Eve Watson

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