As a Labour and Co-operative Party MP I am backing the Let’s Keep it Co-op campaign to ensure that the Co-operative Group keeps campaigning for its values and stays owned by its members
The co-operative movement is about changing society for the better. In a democratic society that happens by organising for change through political action and the Co-operative Group is a vital part of the equation.
Co-operatives are businesses owned and run by their members – customers, employees and residents who have an equal say in what the business does and a fair share in the profits. Across the country, 6,000 cooperatives have nearly 13 million members.
The co-operative movement is also a big part of the economy, worth £33 billion.
The Co-operative Group is Britain’s largest co-operative and one of the largest co-operatives in the world. Anyone can join the Co-op and it has around eight million members who have a right to vote to elect members of the National Membership Council and the Board, as well as share in the ‘divi’.
The Co-operative Group aims to be the most socially responsible business in the UK. Each year the Co-operative Group, along with other co-operatives, pays a subscription to support the Co-operative Party’s work.
In the run up to the May’s Annual General Meeting, the Group will ask members whether to authorise the subscription and continue the nearly 100 year partnership with the Co-operative Party.
The Co-operative Party is the guardian of the co-operative movement’s powerful values and inspiring vision.
The partnership with the Co-operative Party is vital if the Group wants to be at the heart of a co-operative resurgence.
The Co-operative Party’s first MP Alfred Waterson was elected for Kettering in 1918. Four new Co-operative MPs were elected in 1922, all of whom took the Labour whip. In 1927 the Co-op Party agreed an electoral pact with the Labour Party which continues today.
I want the link between the Co-operative Party and Co-operative Group to deepen so that the Group and its Members benefit, as well as society and our communities.
Together, we can create a stronger, more sustainable future. To find out how you can help, click here.