Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Betteridge’

Profiles of NEC candidates:Ruth Smeeth

30/05/2012, 06:38:42 PM

by Andrew Betteridge

“We need a strong voice on the NEC which represents all members, both in and outside of London, ensuring that the needs and wishes of the membership is at the heart of the party.

“I am that voice,” Ruth said with the determination and enthusiasm that will be needed if Labour are to defeat the Tories in 2015.

And since joining the party, as an energetic 16-year-old, she has always had that determination and enthusiasm in abundance.

This was best demonstrated when she stood as a parliamentary candidate at the 2010 General Election for the constituency of Burton and Uttoxeter (Burton).

Ruth was defeated but only by the national swing. She was a tenacious candidate, canvassing almost every inch of the constituency.

She said her experience as a parliamentary candidate helped her to understand the needs for local constituency parties such as Burton.

“It gave me insight into the needs of local parties in terms of the support they need and the support they don’t,” she explained.

“Also it showed me the impact on local parties when we lose and the additional resources that members and activists need.

“However most of all, the result in Burton made it clear to that as a party we need to be ready to fight for every vote.”

Ruth, who now works for HOPE not hate, said it forced her to think about the needs of the party and how it operated to make sure Labour could win at the next general election.

Not only just up against the national swing, Ruth was up against Lord Ashcroft’s millions in Burton and Uttoxeter. The Ashcroft machine was clear for everyone to see across the constituency. But she said matching the Tories’ millions alone would not bring them election triumph in 2015.

“It’s not just about money; it is how you spend it and how we best utilise the wider Labour movement to deliver tangible gains across the country.

“My priority if elected would be to make sure that the party has the things it needs to win the next election.”


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