About the Party – Page 4 – Co-operative Party

Making the Co‑operative Difference

We are the party of the UK's co-operative movement, committed to building a society in where power and wealth are shared.

Democratic, public ownership of the services and utilities we all rely on. Tackling the housing crisis through co-operative housing. Fans having a say in their sports club. Credit unions as an alternative to rip-off payday lenders. Shops owned by their customers that give back to the community.

Whether in government or opposition, for a century the Co-operative Party has been a voice for co-operative values and principles in the places where decisions are taken, and laws are made.

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Our Ideas

Co‑operative principles don't stop at the shopfront.

As co-operators, we believe that the principles that lie behind successful co‑operatives - democratic control by customers and workers, and a fair share of the wealth we create together - ought to extend to the wider economy and our society.

The Party's policy platform draws on the experience of our members, subscribing societies and our wider movement, with an opportunity to feed into it at each year's Annual Conference.

MPs in Westminster
Members of Scottish Parliament
Welsh Assembly Members
Councillors across the UK
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Our People

There are Labour & Co‑operative representatives at all level of national and local government across Britain working to champion co‑operative values and principles.

Meet the team

All
  • All
  • Members of Parliament
  • Members of the House of Lords
  • Members of the Scottish Parliament
  • Members of the Welsh Assembly

Kate Osamor

Adrian Bailey

Huw Irranca-Davies AM/AS

Rhianon Passmore

John Griffiths

Johann Lamont

Steve Reed

Our heritage

The Co‑operative Party’s roots go back to 1844, when the ‘Rochdale Pioneers’ founded the first modern co-operative, based on principles still in use today.

That first store grew into a movement with millions of members. During World War I, co-ops faced discrimination from a government dominated by private business. In 1917, the movement set up the Co‑operative Party to represent and defend itself, and to promote our values in the wider economy and society.

Since 1927, the Party has had an electoral agreement with Labour Party. This enables us to stand joint candidates in elections, recognising our shared values and maximising our impact.

What is a co‑op?

Co‑operatives are businesses owned and run by their customers and staff

Whether customers, employees, suppliers or people who live in the surrounding community, co‑operatives give the people closest to a business an equal say in how it is run and how its profits are used.

The original principles of co‑operation were set out by the Rochdale Pioneers, who created the World’s first modern co‑operative back in 1844.

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The UK Co‑operative sector in numbers

Independent co-ops
Employees
Members

A new generation

Back in the early 2000s, the-then Labour government worked with the Co‑operative Party to launch a Co‑operatives Commission, investigating how the co‑operative movement could grow and modernise, reversing several decades of decline.

Thanks in part to its recommendations, the past decade has seen our movement become larger, more diverse and innovative than ever before.

As well as the familiar shops, travel agents and funeral services, other examples of co-operatives include community renewable energy schemes, co‑op housing, football clubs, credit unions, pubs and digital agencies.

They too have been joined by co‑operative schools and foundation hospitals, which strive to incorporate co‑operative principles into how they are structured and governed.

Shape the next chapter

At as the Party enters its second Century, we're ready to shape the next Century even more profoundly than the last.

In the June 2017 General Election, 1.3 million people voted for Co‑operative candidates, returning 38 Labour & Co‑operative MPs - the greatest number in our history.

Working in partnership with the Labour Party, we're developing a blueprint for doubling the size of the co‑operative sector under the next Labour & Co‑operative government, and developing new models to bring key sectors such as transport and utilities under democratic public ownership.

And with membership at a modern high of 11,000, our movement is a growing one, with active branches up and down the country.

If you're with us, join us

Become a member of the Co‑operative Party today.

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Stay in touch

Sign up for a supporter, and we'll keep you updated with occasional emails about our campaigns, events and information about activity in your local area.

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