Damien spoke to the meeting about his support and involvement with the co-op movement, and a statement from him is below. If successful he would stand in the election next May as the Labour & Co-operative candidate.
I am extremely grateful for the Co-operative Party’s nomination as it is only by working cooperatively that we can combat the Tory austerity agenda.
Council housing saved my family when we found ourselves homeless. Tragically in Lewisham today thousands of families find themselves in similar positions – it’s unacceptable.
The Tories’ brutal austerity programme has hit Lewisham hard. With public services budgets being slashed children growing up here can see Canary Wharf from their bedroom windows, but for many it seems like another world.
In my job at the Ethical Trading Initiative, we bring together trade unions and workers to improve conditions in sweatshops and farms around the world. Cooperative, community led, people powered politics.
This experience means that I know that no Mayor can meet the challenges without working with the people of Lewisham. We need a Mayor who’ll give ordinary people a voice, listen, and harness the power of our community.
It’s exactly this approach which I’ve seen drive the projects I’m most proud of: the Ladywell Pop-up Village for homeless families, our new landlord licensing scheme, our support for Syrian refugees. This is only the beginning of the future vision I have for Lewisham.
And it’s the approach I will use if chosen to be Labour’s candidate for Mayor. I want to fight fuel poverty by creating a Lewisham energy co-operative supplier, help local businesses by introducing the Lewisham pound and develop the biggest council house-building programme seen in a generation.
My campaign is led from our grassroots. Let’s harness the vast experience and enthusiasm of our Labour movement and use it as a source of strength, so we transform Lewisham together.