Jeremy Corbyn has set his sights on building up Labour’s support in the former industrial heartlands that were once the party’s strongholds and seaside towns which have suffered as the UK’s economy has changed.
A new unit is being launched by Labour which will work with activists and trade unions to campaign on issues affecting local communities across the country.
Mr Corbyn said the move showed Labour was “a movement” rather than simply a political party, and could help make a difference to people’s lives even while in opposition at Westminster.
The new community organising unit will work with Constituency Labour Parties to help members develop skills to win local campaigns, but will also forge links with people outside party politics.
The unit will have a particular organising focus on post-industrial communities where the Labour vote increased by less than average in the 2017 election, as well as marginal seats that Mr Corbyn needs to win to become the next prime minister.
Mr Corbyn said: “Community organising will further invigorate our party. We will empower people to campaign – and win – in their communities and workplaces on issues that matter to them.
“We will focus particularly on working with communities, such as Britain’s post-industrial and seaside towns, that have been held back and forgotten by economic change that has only benefited a wealthy elite.
“Our party was formed out of the labour movement and we are a movement once again.
“By organising more effectively with communities across the country, not only can we build support to help Labour win elections, form a government and transform our society, we can make real, practical differences to people’s lives, even while in opposition.”