PragRad open letter in Guardian supporting Ed Miliband on trying out primaries

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The following letter appears in The Guardian print edition, Saturday 13 July, and online here.

A primary solution to widening Labour Party democracy

We welcome Ed Miliband’s bold speech setting out reforms to ensure that Labour politics is more open and that machine politics is consigned to history. Organisations like Pragmatic Radicalism, through its Top of the Policies events, are pioneering new ways to encourage the participation of the broadest possible range of people in Labour policy-making. We support Ed Miliband’s view that Labour must “reach out to others outside our party” in order “to genuinely build a movement again”, and agree that primaries may help this process. While no panacea, experimenting with primaries between now and the next election will show the British public that we are an outward-looking party that aspires to bring in a wider range of people as our candidates, not just a narrow elite.

John Slinger Chair, Pragmatic Radicalism
Cllr Mike Harris International officer, Pragmatic Radicalism
Jonathan Todd Vice-chair, Pragmatic Radicalism
Amanda Ramsay Vice-chair, Pragmatic Radicalism
John Mann MP
Gisela Stuart MP
Steve Reed MP
Jenny Chapman MP
Graham Jones MP
David Lammy MP
Ann Clwyd MP
John Woodcock MP
Kevin Barron MP
Lord Rogers of Riverside
Cllr Theo Blackwell London Borough of Camden
Cllr Simon Hogg London Borough of Wandsworth
Cllr Rachel Rogers Chair, Labour Group, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council
Robert Philpot Director, Progress
Joe Dancey Acting director, Progress
Peter Watt Former general secretary of the Labour Party
James Bloodworth Editor, Left Foot Forward
Hopi Sen Former head of campaigns, parliamentary Labour party
Cllr Mike Le-Surf Leader, Labour group, Brentwood Borough Council
Anthony Painter Author, Left without a future?
Cllr Stephen Cowan Leader, Labour group, London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
David Goodhart
Jess Asato Labour PPC for Norwich North
Alex Smith Former Ed Miliband adviser/ Editor LabourList
Jonny Medland Secretary, Battersea Labour party
Atul Hatwal Editor, Labour Uncut
Lord Turnberg

Guardian open letter on primaries 150713

John Slinger

About John Slinger

Chair and co-founder of Pragmatic Radicalism. Consultant at strategic communications consultancy Quiller Consultants (Westminster). Vice-Chair of Rugby Constituency Labour Party (http://www.rugbylabour.org/). ‘Pop-up’ writer (see http://slingerblog.blogspot.com). Member of Progress and Unite. Trustee Director of Carers Support Service (Warwickshire charity running young carers projects). Fellow of Humanitarian Intervention Centre (http://hicentre.org/). Executive Committee member of Labour Friends of Iraq (http://www.labourfriendsofiraq.org.uk/). Formerly worked for Ann Clwyd MP in the House of Commons. Twitter @JohnSlinger