I hope to meet up with many of you on the TUC March against the cuts this Saturday. I will be joining the Women Against the Cuts section of the march. If you would like to join us please meet at 10.15 outside the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand.
There will be a Southwark Council by-election in Lane Ward on Thursday 5th May 2011 because of the resignation of a Labour councillor. Please do join us campaigning for a strong Labour vote.
A huge thanks to all of you who helped the tremendous result in the Brunswick ward by-election. The result was Labour 1981; Liberal Democrat 630; Green Party 231; Conservative 129; and Trade Union & Socialist Coalition 30. Many congratulations to our new councillor, Mark Williams
The major issue from abroad which has been concerning us is the situation in Libya. The Labour Party is supporting the UN-backed mission in Libya and at the same time scrutinising the government's actions. It is our responsibility to ask the questions that people want answered. How will we guard against "mission creep"? How can we ensure that the Arab League continue to play a leading role in setting the strategy? What is the final objective which we expect to achieve? But we have supported the UN-backed No Fly Zone because:
We could not stand by when Gaddafi terrorised and killed 700,000 people in Benghazi as he had threatened
We are strong supporters of the UN and should be prepared to support the Security Council resolution
We cannot let a message go out to dictators in the Arab world that those who seek freedom and democracy can be crushed and the international community would just stand by and watch it happen
We will keep the government under close review on this - and Ed Miliband, at PMQs today, asked searching questions about the active involvement of Arab countries
Today, with the Budget, the forecasts for economic growth were revised down for this year and next year and unemployment is now rising. This is because of the choice the Tory/Lib Dem government has made to cut the deficit too far and too fast. You can check out Ed's speech online for comprehensive, progressive critique.