When you join the Labour Party, you are automatically placed into different groups depending on age and occupation.
All members aged between 14 and 26 become part of Young Labour, the official youth wing of the party. Young Labour have their own executive committee, which is elected every two years at their national conference. (Full details of the current National Executive Committee can be found here.) This year, conference is taking place on the weekend of the 27th and 28th of February, in Scarborough.
There are several ways of getting involved in Young Labour. Firstly, you can contact your regional representative, whose details can be found on the National Exec page above, and see what events and campaign days will be occurring in your area. Many areas have their own, very active Young Labour groups, which your rep should be able to put you in touch with.
Secondly, you can apply to attend Youth Conference as a regional delegate (unfortunately, you can only attend as a delegate – observer tickets are unavailable). Delegates vote to elect officers to the National Executive Committee, and on whether or not to adopt any motions put forward by fellow members. You will be representing other young people in your region, which is where you registered when you joined as a party member – for example, I registered with Cambridge CLP, so I fall into the Eastern Region grouping.
The link to apply for this year’s conference is here.)
As well as attending conference, you can run for the National Executive Committee. Full details of how to run and the positions being elected are available here.
A note of warning: Young Labour are unable to reimburse travel costs for national events, and will not be providing accommodation for National Conference. You would therefore have to fund your own transport to and from Scarborough, and source accommodation for the night of the 27th February. If you think this may be a problem, please contact your Labour Club Chair, local Constituency Labour Party (CLP), or Young Labour regional rep – there may be some funding available to help you attend.
You become a member of Labour Students when you join a university or Further Education college Labour Club which is affiliated with LS. If you’re unsure as to whether or not your institution is an affiliate, check the list on their website. CULC is currently affiliated with Labour Students.
Like Young Labour, Labour Students has its own National Executive Committee, details of which can be found here. LS elections and conference are held every year, unlike Young Labour’s, which occur every two years.
Certain committee positions (such as the four Liberation Officer positions: Women, LGBT+, BAME and Disabilities) are elected at National Council, and the rest (Chair, Secretary, Campaigns & Membership and Regional officers) are elected at Conference.
LS run a number of national events every year – Summer Training in late summer, Political Weekend in the Autumn, National Council just before Christmas and National Conference in February.
The next event will be National Council on the weekend of the 12th and 13th of December in London – CULC will be electing two delegates (at least one of whom must be a self-identifying woman) at our Termly General Meeting on Wednesday 25th November; details on how to put yourself forward as a candidate will follow shortly via email. You can also attend Council as an observer (under the current system, only delegates have the right to vote in national exec elections and on motions; observers can attend, but not vote) by buying a ticket online.
If you want to run for an elected Labour Students position at Council, details of positions available and how to go about doing so can be found here.
Labour Students Conference will be the next national event after Council, and will take place in Scarborough just before Young Labour conference in February. CULC will be electing delegates and deciding on motions to submit in the New Year, so watch this space!
Accommodation is generally provided at Labour Students events, the cost of which is included in the ticket price. LS also provide a hardship fund for those who would otherwise struggle to pay for transport – online signup sheets are generally published on their Facebook page prior to events, or you can email the Secretary with your receipts and bank details.
You should receive regular updates from both Young Labour and Labour Students via email – if you’re not currently receiving these, you may need to go online and update your email address on the Labour party website. The Chair of your Labour Club should also receive email updates from Labour Students, and publicise national events and delegate elections. Each area also has its own Regional Officer, with whom you can get in touch – names and contact details can be found on the LS website, and for those of you in Cambridge, the current Eastern Region rep is CULC’s own Tom Wilson.
Young Labour and Labour Students are absolutely worth getting involved in. By the time you’ve been to one or two events, you’ll know everyone – it’s the nicest, most supportive and most inclusive bunch of people I’ve ever met (other than CULC, who are absolutely brilliant). The group discussions, Liberation caucuses, motion debates and elections are great for improving confidence and public speaking skills, and the nights out are always really good fun.
If you have any further questions, feel free to get in touch with me or Tom Wilson!