Jim McMahon MP speaking at the July Labour & Co-operative Party joint event.

As Chair of the Co-operative Party, I was delighted to see the success of the recent event hosted jointly by the Labour and Co-operative Parties to champion our sector’s contribution to the social economy.

We were able to bring together representatives from co-ops, social enterprises, employee-owned businesses and others from across the country to Coin Street in London for a celebration of our movement’s strength, and what we can offer the wider economy.

As part of this celebration, alongside Labour and Co-operative Shadow Secretary for Business and Industrial Strategy Jonathan Reynolds MP, I spoke to our recent success as a Party and movement, and was able to reflect on the huge strides we have taken in our offer to the alternative business sector.

For instance, we have seen a bold commitment from the Labour Party and Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves MP to double the size of the co-operative sector – a crucial aim at the very heart of our ambition for the Co-operative Party and wider movement.

At the core of Labour’s clean energy mission with Ed Miliband MP is a substantial commitment to the rapid expansion of community-owned energy, with a pledge to ensure GB Energy helps produce 1 million new owners of energy across the UK, generation 8GW of clean, renewable energy.

On giving local communities a genuine stake and say in the matters that affect them, Lisa Nandy MP has made welcome announcements on community power, including a new community right to buy, and the extension of localism powers that will help support community ownership and sustainable high streets.

And with Angela Rayner MP, we have seen important commitments to reforming public procurement in a way that would open up opportunities for co-operatives and social enterprises alongside other SMEs to properly compete for public contracts, and allow contracting authorities to better support firms with clear and transparent tax behaviours.

These are all significant commitments that will have a profound impact on the size and influence of our sector, which the Party and I have worked hard to support.

Our recent joint event provided an opportunity to reflect on these positive developments, and as we head into summer I hope we can continue to champion this vital progress.