Be part of socialist election stand against war and cuts

The Tories have to go. They’ve backed the murderous assault on Gaza.

They don’t care about working-class people, wherever they live. Our public services have been destroyed, and the Tories help the rich get richer.

And who’s there backing Tory policies every step of the way? Keir Starmer’s Labour.

Starmer can’t bring himself to even firmly oppose the war on Gaza, and he suspends any Labour MP that does.

So we’ve had to protest against the war in our hundreds of thousands. We’ve had to strike for a pay rise. We’ve had to protest to save our communities from cuts.

We need those people, like you, to stand at the next election to provide an alternative. The Socialist Party is part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), trying to gather the biggest working-class challenge possible for May’s local elections.

Stand with us.

Why I’m standing in Southampton

‘We’ve been neglected, but no more’

Nadia Ditta, Southampton East Socialist Party member and TUSC candidate for Bevois ward

Since December, we have had two successful meetings (see below). The first was to introduce the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), explain what the Socialist Party is, and why we stand in elections under the TUSC banner.

The second successful meeting was to allow the people to choose where they want their council tax money to be spent. New people also joined this ‘People’s Budget’ meeting.


We circulated 5,000 leaflets. So even if people were not able to attend they were aware it took place. There is a real buzz in the air.

The Tory government has done nothing. And its the same for the Labour Party, which has had a 40-year hold in Bevois ward. We have become one of the most deprived areas in Southampton.

We have been neglected and faced every cut – closures of youth clubs; rubbish tip usage restrictions; roads not being cleaned; CCTV not working – the list goes on.

We have had two successful meetings in one part of Bevois ward – Newtown. But in the Northam area, people have also faced so many cuts, and now council tax and is going up.

The council does nothing about the horrendous conditions that people live in, however, they want to put the rent up. So we want to hear from the people of Northam.

We have arranged a community meeting for 15 February in Northam. We will:

  • Introduce ourselves
  • Ask about where they want their money spent
  • Talk about council property rent increasing
  • And talk about why we’re standing

It’s our responsibility to put ourselves out there. Our numbers as a socialist group are increasing. But this will only happen if we reach out, and don’t stop.

As a person who only heard of the Socialist Party and TUSC in October, I know we are the working class, for the working class.

See Southampton socialists’ previous successful community meetings:

We stand against cutting councillors in Woking

Woking day of action against cuts
Woking day of action against cuts

Callum Joyce, Southern Socialist Party organiser

Woking Borough Council has issued a Section 114 notice, declaring that it has effectively run out of money, and will only continue to provide ‘statutory’ services. All ‘unnecessary’ spending will be stopped.

In reality, this means no more money for numerous care homes, leisure centres, public toilets, and a raft of other public services. Over 100 people protested outside the council meeting to vote on this year’s budget, against the onslaught of austerity facing the area.

The lobby was made up of local residents, trade unionists, community campaigners, and a large delegation from Citizens Advice, one of the services facing a cut.


Paul Couchman – Socialist Party member, and secretary of Save Our Services in Surrey – spoke to the crowd. Cuts will largely be carried out by unelected commissioners being paid £1,000 a day each!

Paul made clear that there should be no compromises, such as proposing to cut one service in order to save another which is ‘more important’. All the £8.4 million cuts must be opposed point blank.

Paul called on those assembled to consider standing in the upcoming local election in Woking, to put forward a genuine anti-cuts alternative at the ballot box.

In the council meeting itself, not a single councillor spoke out to oppose all the cuts. Lib Dem councillors – who run the council – suggested twice, unsuccessfully, that the budget should go straight to a vote without further discussion.

Speaking in support of the cuts budget, one Lib Dem councillor said: “What can be done by this council has been done”, and that “not once has this administration flinched” in putting it together.

Perhaps the council’s determination not to ‘flinch’ should have been used to oppose austerity, and launch a mass campaign for more funding from the central government, instead of dutifully carrying out cuts on the Tories’ behalf.

Save Our Services in Surrey will be holding a public meeting in Woking soon to discuss the next steps for the campaign, including standing its own anti-austerity council candidates in May. Anyone in Surrey who wants to fight back can sign up at –

Read what local anti-cuts campaigner Paul has said before – ‘Woking Council pays commissioners to destroy services’

Campaign to save Hackney children’s centres already shows its power

Brian Debus, Hackney Unison chair and Socialist Party

The planned cuts to Hackney children’s centres could lead to 50 redundancies, and the loss of 25% of council nursery places across the borough.

Management, in their haste to implement cuts at Fernbank, tried to end the contract of the centre managers prematurely. This, in the first week of a three-month consultation period, gives a glimpse of the climate they would like to create.

However, management were forced into a humiliating U-turn after a deluge of protest letters and emails from parents and users of the centre. The contracts have now been extended to August 2025. This demonstrates the power of protest, and is the first win of the campaign.


Hackney Council has deviously planned to remove extended-services staff – which provide support to vulnerable parents and their children – from the Sebright centre, without informing parents. The council will also change the jobs, hours, work location of staff, with enforced weekend working, and potential redundancies.

The campaign against cuts to children’s centres is very much on the front foot. There is a protest photo leading on the front page of the Hackney Gazette, and there is also coverage in Nursery World magazine.

The campaign has organised a Hackney-wide lobby of the full council meeting on 28 February. And two workplace site meetings of staff at Fernbank and Sebright have now taken successful indicative ballots for strike action against these proposals.

The parents’ campaign has submitted a 40-page dossier to the council’s scrutiny committee –which meets on 19 February – on the flaws in the proposals, and the impact it will have.

The Labour council needs to grow a spine, and tell this weak Tory government that it will not implement any more of its cuts, and, in fact, needs more money to fund plans for free childcare that are due to be implemented from April this year.

Call for anti-war, left-wing election stand in Lancashire

Dave Beale, Lancashire Socialist Party

130 people crowded into a Preston community centre on Saturday 10 February for a public meeting about the Israeli onslaught on Gaza.

Since October, Preston has had a well-supported campaign calling for a ceasefire, an end to the genocide and Israeli occupation. Almost every week there have been either coaches to the big London protests or local marches, rallies and meetings.


The meeting heard speakers including a Palestinian speaker who was born in Gaza and has spent most of his life in Rochdale. He had been visiting Gaza for a family wedding prior to the 7 October Hamas attack and was then unable to leave. He described the dreadful scenes he witnessed as a result of Israeli bombing.

Other speakers, which included a rabbi and two Stop the War organisers, described the horrors inflicted by the Israeli state, some of the central historical factors in the situation and the impact that the global protests, especially in Indonesia and London, are having. Unfortunately, none described the vital class dimension needed to find a way forward, and none mentioned the ‘s’ word – socialism.

Perhaps the most telling point of the evening for many was when Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) supporter Jenny Hurley asked Michael Lavalette, a Stop the War coordinator, if he was going to stand against Labour in Preston in the coming general election – a question he declined to answer. Michael has been a left-of-Labour councillor in Preston previously, including as part of TUSC. When Stop the War convenor Lindsey German spoke later, she stated in response that “Palestine has to be on the ballot paper at the next election” – but again, it was unclear what that means.

“No vote”

There is little doubt in Lancashire that there is now a real appetite for standing left and socialist candidates against Labour. This has been bubbling under the surface in recent years, but the Gaza catastrophe has definitely brought it out into the open. At Preston’s Gaza protests, Michael has repeatedly called for a “no vote” at the coming election, but if that only means abstentionism, that would be a very serious missed opportunity!”

The potential of left community candidates standing on a core programme that links Gaza and anti-war issues to a no-cuts, no-privatisation programme could achieve widespread support from many sections of the community in Lancashire and generally. Socialist Party members would encourage others to stand with us under the banner of TUSC in May’s local elections.

Convention agrees plan for united general election challenge to Sunak and Starmer

Representatives of 12 different campaign groups and socialist organisations – including the Socialist Party – met in Birmingham on 3 February in a convention to organise a working-class challenge at the general election. The convention was initiated by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

Read the full report at