WE reveal surge in numbers that show our party is a key player in post-Brexit politics
Hundreds of people attended a Women's Equality Party rally today in central Manchester. Party leader Sophie Walker delivered a hard-hitting speech in which she called for a new kind of politics. She was joined by party members who voted for both Leave and Remain, in a clear sign of unity.
"Today we move beyond the politics of Brexit, into the possibility of Brexit. And the Women’s Equality Party is ready to lead that change," said Walker.
"The EU referendum campaign has exposed politics for what it really is – a series of ruses where the winner is the one who has deceived the most voters. But that will not define who we can be, in all our glorious diversity. Because we are not as divided as our politics suggests," she continued.
Walker described the referendum campaign as being the most shamefully deceptive and divisive campaign of her lifetime. She criticised both the Leave and Remain campaigns for overlooking the experience of half the population, and forcing an immigration debate in order to divide us.
"When politicians were challenged on the impact of their own decisions – the impact that left so many of us without jobs, that left some of our towns and cities deprived as never before in our history – when they were challenged about that, they said: it’s not us, it’s your neighbour," said Walker.
"But instead of calling for a second referendum, instead of telling people they didn’t understand what was at stake, we must listen."
The Women's Equality Party has grown significantly throughout the EU Referendum and now has 65,000 members and registered supporters. Responding to overtures from other members and groups to remake itself as the Equality Party and build a new left - an idea also suggested in a recent op-ed by Jeanette Winterson – Walker said: "We refuse to make ourselves smaller to assure the greater and continued power of the few. We will not bump women down the list of priorities again. We are the Women’s Equality Party and in so being, we are the Equality Party."
"We were created one year ago because there was a crisis in representative democracy. As the dust settles on the EU Referendum, that crisis is more apparent than ever before. WE are building a party of people, not politicians. A party that understands the inequalities that people experience every single day because as women we have lived with them all our lives," she added.
Announcing that their first party conference will take place in Manchester at the end of November, Walker said: "The task ahead of us is huge: to build a new economy, to negotiate trade, to rethink large parts of our legislation, and decide what kind of immigration system we want moving forward. For the old parties, your participation starts and ends at the voting booth. For the Women’s Equality Party, this is just where it begins."
Published July 02, 2016