Last week saw the launch of a new series of events organised as part of our local government campaign, in conjunction with our diversity networks. Our first session was held last Tuesday and saw the BAME network host a meeting for any BAME members considering seeking selection.

We were joined by three inspirational BAME women councillors who shared their experiences of being Co-operative councillors. From Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, the Deputy Mayor for Hackey we heard about the importance of believing in yourself and not being afraid of putting yourself out there; Arooj Shah, Deputy Leader for Oldham shared her incredible personal story of perseverance in the face of adversity and the importance of speaking your truth; and from Abigail Marshall Katung, Leeds City Council Lead for BAME we heard about loving your community and how she set up of Leeds first ever diverse food network. The event was chaired excellently by Shahina Jaffer chair of the BAME network and participants on the call gave us some fascinating insights into their journey to seeking election.

At the Co-operative Party, we are ambitious on equalities, as we know that we can only create a fairer economy if we empower and amplify everyone’s voices. These training sessions for our diversity networks are part of our work to ensure our Party lives its co-operative values of equality, participation and community; I am very much looking forward to the next one.