Left wing activists have set up a new political party to challenge the policies of the coalition government following a conference on Saturday.
Left Unity is set to contest seats across the country in what supporters believe could become a viable alternative to what they consider the rightward shift of the Labour Party.
Around 500 delegates attended the launch conference in London, which voted on founding principles for the organisation and to adopt the name Left Unity. Defeated alternatives included “the Left Party” and “Democratic Voice”.
The party was formed following an appeal by filmmaker Ken Loach in March. His statement calling for a new party to represent left wing ideas was signed by over 10,000 people. More than 1,000 people became full members of the project before the official launch.
Dorset Left Unity member Sean Gray said there needed to be a stronger opposition to the coalition government than Labour. He said, “The Labour Party in our view has long lost its left wing credentials.”
But Bournemouth Labour councillor Ben Grower said that criticisms that Labour failed to represent the working class were “silly”. “These new smaller parties come and go all the time, but there is only one party in this country that represents the working class and that’s the Labour Party,” he said.
Left Unity is set to meet again later in the year to decide on further policies ahead of next year’s anticipated general election.