Today, I am pleased to publish a new report, looking at how we can rebuild London’s economy to be fairer, more resilient and more sustainable. As the capital enters its second lockdown, we must look at how we emerge stronger, rather than returning to a broken status quo.

The report calls for a Co-operative Commission for London so that London based co-operatives can be helped to grow and flourish. This would complement the Economic Development Strategy for London set out by Mayor Sadiq Khan to create a more inclusive city which works for all Londoners.

The London Co-operative Commission could be asked to make recommendations on the actions needed to support the development of co-operatives, including developing co-operative leadership skills, and how to integrate with wider education and skills development in the capital. It should cover community-based education and training to help people set up and run local co-operatives, help for entrepreneurs contemplating their first start-up or micro-business all the way up to established leaders.

Other regions and nations have paved the way – in Greater Manchester, Labour & Co-operative Mayor Andy Burnham set up the Greater Manchester Co-operative Commission to ensure that the city-region stays at the forefront of co-operative development, with 42 recommendations which he accepted in full. Wales has a successful Co-operative Development Centre and support from the Labour Welsh government. Labour & Co-operative Mayor in South Yorkshire Dan Jarvis has a co-operative advisory group, and Liam Byrne MP, who is standing to be the West Midlands Mayor, has pledged to triple the co-operative economy in his region.

As we rebuild London, it’s vital we do so in a manner that not only helps businesses, communities and individuals get back on their feet as soon as possible, but recognises that we can do better than before, too. I believe that our co-operative values and ideas are the best way to do just that, and to seize this opportunity a Co-operative Commission for London is a good place to start. It’s a Capital idea.