Open letter to Labour Party from Hargrove, Chair of Camberwell and Peckham Constituency Labour Party
I wanted to write to confirm my support for Harriet as the next deputy leader of our party. Having known Harriet for over 20 years it gives me great pleasure to back her in this candidacy.
When Harriet and I first started working together in Peckham in (the early nineties) the feel of the place was very different indeed. I am proud to be from London and proud to be from Peckham, but the Conservative Government led by Margaret Thatcher had torn the heart out of our community.
I remember all too well how from the 1980s onwards the fabric holding local communities together was being relentlessly unwound. Dereliction on our High Streets and particularly our local shopping parades, mass unemployment and despair, widespread fear of crime and street robbery on our streets, these things hit Peckham hardest of all.
In Camberwell and Peckham today things are looking much brighter. Of course the successive Labour Government’s reforms and measures have benefited our community enormously. But Peckham’s revival didn’t start just in 1997. The foresight and courage in the early 1990s of the local Council working very closely with Harriet enabled the massive transformation of Peckham through the Peckham Partnership programme. As an area Camberwell and Peckham today still has considerable hurdles to overcome, but the changes delivered by Labour and spearheaded by Harriet has placed us as a community in much better shape today than we were in 20 years ago.
So that’s why I think Harriet would be a worthy deputy leader. She’s been around long enough to know where our party and our values have come from – but she’s always had a vision for the future.
We have a strong record of campaigning in Peckham – having two of the strongest Labour council wards at the last election in Harriet’s constituency. This didn’t happen by accident – local members rolled their sleeves up and got on with the hard work of knocking on doors and getting the direct mails and leaflets out. But this job was made all the easier for having Harriet as our local champion – on the doorstep with us all the time.
I know that Harriet has a campaigning zeal and a political vision that would do the party and the country proud. That’s why I’m hoping you’ll join me in backing her bid to be deputy leader.
Chair of Camberwell and Peckham CLP