Jim McMahon Chair of the Co-operative Party and Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 19th May 2021 Blog Share Tweet In my previous updates on the work the Co-operative Party has been doing, I outlined the efforts going into ensuring we were best placed to make the most of the recent elections. I’m delighted to say that we did just that, and the results demonstrate the strides taken in ensuring representatives of our proud movement are elected at every level, in every region. In Holyrood, we have a record group elected to the Scottish Parliament with 11 MSPs, able to build on the work of our Party and movement in areas like successfully supporting the recent change to the Scottish law that will give retail workers greater protection against violence and abuse. And in Cardiff Bay, Co-operative MSs effectively make up the joint second largest party in the Senedd, whilst co-operators in key cabinet positions give us a fantastic opportunity to put co-operation at the very heart of decision making in Wales. In local government, 313 Co-operative councillors were elected, meaning there are now well over 900 in town halls right across the country giving a strong voice to our values and principles. In fact, for the first time our Party is represented on the majority of councils across the country, allowing us to spread our message, principles and solutions to the many challenges we now face further than ever before. Our brilliant councillors will be joined by two new metro mayors including my colleague in Westminster Tracy Brabin, who makes history as the first female metro mayor. They join our existing mayors to ensure we now have 5 in place to champion our cause. In London, all 11 Labour London Assembly Members now represent the Co-operative Party too. And our number of Police and Crime Commissioners has more than doubled, too, with seven Labour and Co-operative PCCs now sitting in regions across the country and ready to make a real difference in our communities. It’s a testament to the work right through our Party, including the fantastic candidates and our brilliant members who have done so much to help us deliver these results. But in writing previously about this work ahead of the elections, I also spoke of the importance of making sure candidates were backed up with the training, resources and support to make sure that we are able to go beyond numbers and make a real difference on the ground in our communities, and put our co-operative values into action. I’m delighted that they have just that. And whilst the focus has rightly been on elections, we haven’t lost sight of the need to make the co-operative difference in Westminster, too. As a new Parliamentary session begins our Westminster Parliamentary Group is prepared with the priorities for our Party and wider co-operative movement and will be doing all we can to implement our many ideas in everything from increasing the size of the co-operative sector to tackling our climate and housing crises. And as one election passes it’s never too early to look to the next. Indeed our Westminster Parliamentary Panel is open for applications to those who intend to stand at the next election and hope to do so as representatives of our proud movement. Much like their counterparts in the recent elections, those on our Parliamentary Panel will face the next General Election equipped with a full candidate development programme that will give them everything they need to have the best chance of gaining election and the opportunity to stand up for our co-operative values in Westminster. So, whilst the recent elections demonstrate the effort and energy of our Party in securing such success right across the country, I’m delighted that the work to ensure similar results in the future is already well underway.