#DM16: Message from Jeremy Corbyn
15 April 2016
Michelle Stanistreet read out a message to delegates from Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party and former secretary of the NUJ’s Parliamentary Group.
“As a proud member of the National Union Journalists, and the NUJ Parliamentary Group, I'm very sorry I can't be with you for the Delegate Meeting.The dedication, courage, and commitment of journalists across the planet, even in the face of violently repressive regimes, is something I am passionate about.
“The government claims to support a free press. But the growing concentration of media ownership is a real threat to our democracy. Even after the phone-hacking scandal we still lack a properly independent press regulator as proposed by Lord Justice Leveson.”
“The Tories continue to undermine the funding and public service ethos of the BBC, and refuse to rule out privatising Channel 4. Journalists lack adequate legal safeguards to protect the confidentiality of their sources - a cornerstone of genuine press freedom. And the cuts and closures of local newspaper titles continues apace.
"I am proud, that Labour is now an unequivocally anti-austerity party. Whether it’s the trade unions, the Labour Party, the welfare state or public services … these institutions are under attack because they are the basis of our collective power.
"That same rigging of workplace power is what has led directly to the explosion in executive pay and boardroom excess … while low wages and insecure employment have mushroomed … not least in your industry.
"Not only will Labour repeal the Trade Union Bill when we get back in 2020 … we will extend people's rights in the workplace – with new trade union freedoms and collective bargaining rights … so that workers have the strength to reverse the race to the bottom in pay and conditions.
The spirit of resistance and rebellion is what won us democracy … it is what built trade unions … and I hope you have a great conference.”