Labour

Labour, the governing party in the UK for the last ten years, currently has 19 MEPs nationwide, with two from Yorkshire and the Humber region.

Founded in 1900 to represent the views of labour, the Labour Party overtook the Liberals to become the main opposition party to the Conservatives in the 1920s. They were first elected to a majority government in the UK in 1945. In 1994 the party sought to move away from their more traditionally socialist roots by becoming New Labour and seeking to pursue a ‘Third Way’ within politics under Tony Blair. Their current leader is Gordon Brown.

Within the makeup of the European Parliament, Labour form part of the larger group Socialist Group in the European Parliament (PSE), a bloc of 217 MEPs from left-wing parties from every European state except Latvia and Cyprus. The group is currently led in the European Parliament by German MEP Martin Shultz, but was led by Labour MEP Pauline Green in 1994.

The PSE, the second biggest such group within the EU, stand for six broad policies within Europe: creating a new Treaty for a new Europe, protecting the environment, promoting equality, defending human rights, putting people first and creating jobs and prosperity.

The party is expected to do badly at the upcoming European elections both as a protest against Brown’s leadership and the current scandal over MP’s expenses. Many fear this will not translate into votes for the other two main parties, but will sweep smaller parties into the European Parliament, notably the British National Party.

CANDIDATES

Linda McAvin [incumbent]
An MEP since 1998 and one of many current Vice-Presidents of PSE, McAvin is the first on the list of Labour candidates in the region. Her areas of interest include climate change and anti-discrimination. She also sits on the Temporary Committee for Climate Change.

Richard Corbett [incumbent]
As well as being Deputy Leader of Labour MEPs, Corbett also acts as a spokesman for the PSE. His previous work includes negotiations over the European Constitution, and he chairs the British Beer Club in the EU.

Emma Hoddinott
Although not an MEP, Hoddinott was one of the youngest councillors when elected in 2003 to Beverly Town Council. She also stood, unsuccessfully, in the 2005 General Election. She is a graduate of Leeds University.

David Bowe
An MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber until 2004, Bowe previously served on the Environment Committee, and on the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy. While an MEP he acted as Labour’s spokesman on the environment. Before that he was a science teacher.

Melanie Onn
Wife of a serving soldier, and mother of one, Onn is a former trade union shop steward.

Mahroof Hussein
A current Councillor and former Parliamentary researcher, he was awarded an MBE for services to local government in 2008. Hussien is the only ethnically diverse candidate on the list of Labour candidates, and serves as a member of the Tackling Extremism Task Force. He also stood against Nick Clegg in the last General Election.