NEC Disabled Members Representative Statements
Below are the candidate statements that have been submitted for the NEC Disabled Members Representative. To be successfully nominated candidates must receive at least FIVE nominations from CLPs or TWO nominations from affiliated trade unions.
Please refer to these for your CLP nomination meetings.
My name is Geraldine Bird, I’ve had a disability since 10 months of age, and I’m a wheelchair user. I’ve been a disabled activist for over 30 years fighting for disabled people’s rights. I’ve worked for a Disabled Charity.
When in 1995 Disability Discrimination Act came in, was updated in 2005, then with the Equality Act 2010 I believed things would change, but ask disabled people: they’ll tell you they feel that things have gone backwards.
In 2011 I became a Councillor for East Chesterton on Cambridge City Council, I’m the Disability Lead Councillor and in my nine years as a Councillor I’ve been Mayor of Cambridge twice, the first ever wheelchair user Mayor. I am a voice for disabled people in this City, as many disabled residents feel they don’t get heard.
I’m applying to be a disabled members’ representative on the NEC because I want to see Labour at the forefront of these issues on accessibility, more housing for disabled, supporting families of disabled children and making sure they have a right to a decent education and I want to work with the NEC to ensure disabled members have a voice and representation on councils and as MP’s.
I offer a strong independent voice for disabled members.
I have the experience and tenacity to ‘Enable Labour’ to deliver change for disabled members, having been a longstanding disability activist, former Parliamentary and London Assembly Candidate; Current serving Executive Committee member of Fabian Society and LGBT+ Labour; previously with Disability Labour leading its response to the Democracy Review; Member of Community, GMB and Co-operative Party.
As an agent for change, I will advocate for disabled people’s inclusion and fairer representation.
I will collaborate to develop an inclusive party that embraces diversity, builds disability confident leadership and is exemplary, addresses complaints and set standards.
I want to breakdown the wall of exclusion that many disabled members experience through political education, building capacity and reforming policy, practice and procedure.
I will ‘Enable Labour’ by encouraging CLP’s and affiliates, supporting Disability Officers, creating Disability Forums, organising through the Disability Section and national conference.
I will engage with disabled members to remove barriers to our participation, encourage community leaders and build disability solidarity.
Professionally, I worked for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, leading health and local government policy. Prior to this I was responsible for governance and special projects at Disability Rights Commission.
My lived experience as a wheelchair user with cerebral palsy motivates my candidacy as NEC Disability Representative. Over 23 years I have striven, as a Borough tenant representative, Vice Chair of the County Disability Advice Services Committee, Suffolk Unite Community Equalities Secretary, and now Labour’s Eastern Region Executive Disabilities Representative, to raise the needs, expectations and rights of disabled people within our society and our Party. I have a degree in Software Engineering, a social housing qualification with the Chartered Institute of Housing, and extensive experience of advising on disabled people’s welfare benefits. I Chair Ipswich Disabled Advice Bureau, and am a Borough Councillor.
We need our Party to encourage and embrace the diverse skill sets and passions of its disabled members. We deserve effective representation at every level of the Labour Party. Equality in our Party is not negotiable. Labour must understand and demonstrate a commitment to enablement and inclusion, not just within society at large, but also within its own structures. If elected I will act as a critical friend to promote disabled member inclusion throughout our Party, and advocate policies capable of delivering the social change this country needs to develop an equal and fair society.
As a disabled person myself I understand first hand the prejudice and barriers disabled people face in education, work, the welfare system and unfortunately often within the Labour Party itself.
I feel it is the responsibility of the party to change to meet disabled people’s needs rather than expecting disabled people to have to change to meet the party’s needs.
The Party has to ensure our campaigning is accessible, supportive and encouraging to disabled members especially in regard to leadership roles, and takes into account the views and needs of disabled members when formulating policy.
If elected I will regularly consult with disabled members to ensure that they are heard within the party and will not compromise over any issues regarding disability discrimination and access, as the party must be accountable to the 2010 Equality Act.
In my current elected role as my CLP’s Disability Officer, I frequently hold online meetings with disabled members, and bring their concerns to the attention of the local party.
I have actively supported disability campaigns, and chaired a meeting on the concerns of disabled people within the Labour Party at Labour’s 2018 North West regional conference.
With great pleasure I can announce that I will be on the Ballot for the NEC Disability Representative.
Can I firstly Thank the CLPs that have nominated me, Bethnal Green & Bow, Poplar & Limehouse, East Hampshire, Barking and Dagenham, and Rainham.
I will now commence the campaign to be elected on to the Nec. If you would like to join help me campaign, please get in touch – all support is welcome. As someone who is wholly independent and not part of any particular slates, my main strength will come from the fact that I simply care strongly about disability equality. I wish to make sure disability rights are always on the agenda. My sincere hope is, this passion I have will be enough to prove to Labour members that I am right to represent them on the NEC.
+44 7908 188366
I’m proud to have wide support from unions, CLPs and parliamentarians to be our first Disabled Members Representative.
As a passionate disability and Labour Party activist with Cerebral Palsy, the challenges I’ve faced give me a deep understanding of injustice and drive me to
ensure that everyone has an equal platform.
As a former Disability employment worker, trustee for a Disabled People’s User-Led Organisation and now Council Cabinet member for Social care in Sheffield, I’ve always worked to transform society for Disabled people.
We need an NEC that is committed to delivering the Labour Government that Disabled people desperately need – I will back Keir’s plan to deliver one.
I will campaign for:
- A Disabled person on every shortlist
- A Labour Party access fund – ringfenced for Disabled people’s full participation in all party activity.
- Truly accessible meetings and decisions – members should be able to participate however you want- in person, online or phone.
- Disabled members on the Policy Forum and the accessible society at the heart of all policy.
I have the experience and vision to transform our party for Disabled people – please give me your vote.
Please also support Ann Black and Jermain Jackman for CLP reps.
I want to start by thanking the 50+ CLPs, 6 trades unions, Disability Labour and DPAC who have supported my campaign so far, each one makes me incredibly grateful and proud.
I’m standing to represent the disabled people’s movement on the NEC, because the trade union and disabled people’s movement is what made me the activist I am today, campaigning alongside Unite Community and DPAC to demand an end to the vicious policies enacted by the DWP and advocating for the policies the disabled people’s movement need.
I’m standing to win accessibility, democracy and policy making for us, by us.
We shouldn’t have to keep hearing it’s “too difficult” or “too expensive” to be open to disabled members. We shouldn’t still be waiting to get the disabled members structures and organisation that we were promised in the Democracy Review; and we certainly shouldn’t have to accept meagre promises to tinker around the edges of cruel Tory welfare policies that deserve to be scrapped.
I’ll fight for a party-wide accessibility review to throw open the doors of Labour’s structures and decision-making to disabled members; and I will insist that Labour implements its commitment to the social model of disability
Dr Liz Okokon
My lived experience as a Disabled Black Woman, NHS research/scientist and Unite Disabilities & Mental Health activist makes me the most qualified candidate – I will focus NEC on:
Achieving Equity for All; Labour must Implement Social Model of Disability to fulfil UN Convention on Disabled Persons’ Rights, Campaigning with Unions to:
Advocate FOR personalised Social Care packages
END sanctions and PIP/UC medical assessments.
End Disabled/Race/Gender Pay Gaps; strengthen workplace rights with:
– Mandatory Reasonable Adjustments (within 1 month)
– Annual access to training
– End workplace Bullying and Harassment
NEC must identify barriers to member inclusion, achieving representative proportionality to “Reflect the Communities we wish to Represent” and win-back our Red and Black Wall constituencies. I will fight for:
Mandatory Annual CLP Equality Surveys; nothing carers/dependents’ needs
Self-organised Disabilities structures, proxy vote to carers, LCF/Policy Disabilities Reps.
Inclusive, accessible LP meetings and
campaigning; unleashing capabilities of Disabled members (with on-line participation)
Awareness of Hidden Disabilities; traumatic impact on health/lifespan of Discrimination and Systemic Racism
Welcoming environment for ALL members; complaints process based on Natural Justice.
NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US
Hi! I am Mary Peberdy, friends call me Mo.
A lifelong disabled member of the Party, my 20 years on a Housing Board, Law degree and career as an Accountant have given me skills and experience to understand complex documents and to form constructive arguments.
As an advocate for disability, I was instrumental in winning a court case involving hundreds of misdiagnosed children, campaigning with MPs, resulting in changes in the Law.
As CLP disability officer and an Executive of Disability Labour I have worked with Community Groups championing disabled people and locally my work with Councillors and MP’s has successfully improved access to buildings, benefits, and the rights of disabled people across Leicester.
Disabled people should not live in constant fear and anxiety; with the loss of European safeguards and erosion of the hard-won Laws protecting disabled people, we need to make our voices heard and demand our rights.
Representation at National level is crucial to make this happen.
Benefits, social care, transport, housing, we need to be listened to and respected at all levels of politics instead of being dismissed, disenfranchised, disillusioned and discriminated against.
I would fight for our rights. please vote for me.
Thank you, Mo
Twitter : @mugless
An independent candidate & democratic socialist, with no external affiliations. Disabled for 22 years, & during this time I joined the party, eventually becoming a Regional Executive member.
I agree with the leaders 10 points, but these must go further to cover aspects of disability & support for the LGBT community, of which I am also a member. All Labour policies need to go deeper in their understanding & backing for disabled & LGBT people.
I campaign on disability issues, & have been through the degrading back to work assessment – failed – & been to court to win my case.
I assist not just disabled people, but anyone who has a B.W.A. – a computer generated programme, but we are individuals & human beings, & need to be treated as such.
I will be the voice on the NEC for ALL disabled people, & for the LGBT community until they get a representative seat on the NEC.
Society needs to change, but to do this disabled and LGBT people need to be treated the same as everyone else. The Labour Party needs to show courage & commitment in its policies, which must ensure that nobody is left behind.