Labour leader Howlin to criticise Corbyn’s attitude

Left-wing parties should not ‘run scared of governing’, leader to tell MacGill audience

Brendan Howlin: “We do not believe that to serve in elected office renders us part of the elite or the establishment. Photograph: Eric Luke

Brendan Howlin: “We do not believe that to serve in elected office renders us part of the elite or the establishment. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin will today implicitly criticise his British counterpart Jeremy Corbyn, warning that Labour in the UK is now “riven by factions”.

“There is nothing the establishment likes more than left-wing parties that confine their energies to campaigning and run scared of governing,” he will tell the MacGill Summer School. “Winning elections matters.”

“We do not believe that to serve in elected office renders us part of the elite or the establishment. Rather we believe refusal to do so renders us servile,” he will tell the audience in Donegal.

Funding sources

Major reforms of Labour are to be led by Mr Howlin, including the drafting of a new constitution, improved relations with trade unions and new funding sources.

The expert group tasked with reviewing the party constitution will draw up new rules to elect future leaders, following Mr Howlin’s selection.

Then, former minister for the environment Alan Kelly failed to get a required second nomination from a fellow party TD, which saw Mr Howlin elected unopposed.

Following Labour’s election losses, which has led to a sharp cut in State funding, Mr Howlin will appoint a team charged with finding new ways of raising money and set fundraising targets.

Trade unions

He will also ask party figures to improve relationships with trade unions, which party sources acknowledge were “undoubtedly” damaged during Labour’s term in government with Fine Gael.

Former leader Joan Burton and Cork East TD Seán Sherlock have been asked to draft new economic policies. Today, Mr Howlin will say that building a better economy doesn’t just mean spending more money”.

More should be done to support co-operatives and social enterprises, he will say, adding “the corrosive idea” that the next generation should not expect a better life than their elders should be challenged.