Luke Pollard

Labour & Co-operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

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Luke backs the Co-op Party's Keep it Co-op Campaign


 I'm backing the Keep It Coop campaign so the co-operative movement doesn't lose its political voice.

I'm proud to be a Labour and Co-operative Parliamentary Candidate. That means I'm standing for two political parties that share close ties and beliefs. The Co-operative Party is older than the Labour Party and has been aligned with Labour for one hundred years. The Co-op Party provides a voice for the co-operative sector and those people who believe in mutuals, equality, fair trade and a more ethical way of doing business.

The Keep It Co-op campaign seeks to ensure that the co-operative movement doesn't lose its political voice by asking the Co-operative Group to continue to support the work of the Co-op Party.

Why should co-operatives have a political voice?

The very act of co-operation is political. For over 150 years, working people have been setting up co-operatives to defend themselves against the excesses of the market and working together to improve their lives. While some of the challenges we face today are different, the movement’s cause remains the same.

Whether it’s a question of taking on the vested interests of the energy companies, the train operators, or even the payday lenders, co-operative and mutuals are providing a means through which people can help change corporate behaviour for the better.

Since it was founded in 1917, the Co-operative Party has been a voice for a fundamental change in the way our country works. Plymouth has a proud co-operative history.


The Co-operative Party was founded in 1917 to represent and defend the co-op movement, though our roots go back all the way to 1844 and the Rochdale Pioneers, the founders of the modern day Co-operative Movement.why was it set up

The Party has had an electoral agreement with the Labour Party since 1927, which enables us to stand joint candidates in elections. While there is an ideological connection, this relationship is also a strategic decision made by the co-operative movement to maximise our ability to influence policy and legislation that is rooted in co-operative values.

Plymouth has an active Co-op Party and a Labour and Co-operative Party-run City Council. We are making a difference by putting co-operative ideas into action every day in our city and showing how people having more say over their lives and their services is a good thing. This isn't the time for the co-operative movement to turn its back on having a political voice.


Each year the Co-operative Group, along with other co-operative, pays a subscription (its membership fee) to support the Party’s work. In the run up to the May’s Annual General Meeting, the Co-operative Group will ask its members whether to authorise the subscription and continue the nearly 100 year partnership with the Co-operative Party.

We believe the partnership with the Co-operative Party is vital if the Group wants to be at the heart of a co-operative resurgence. We provide strategic political leadership and support, driving forward policy solutions, opening up new areas for the movement to expand into. 

The Co-operative Party is the guardian of the co-operative movement’s powerful values and inspiring vision, and a vital tool in achieving its profoundly political objectives. 

Our aim is to deepen and enhance the link so the Group and its Members benefit, as well as society and our communities. We can create a stronger, more sustainable future together.

I don't want the co-operative movement to lose its political voice so I am backing the Keep It Co-op campaign. Co-op politics has never been more relevant than it is today - don't let that voice be taken away - Luke Pollard


The Co-operative Vision

I believe to create a better and fairer society people need to share power in a more equal way. 

Our vision means putting people before profits, building sustainable business and organisations that put their customers and workers above short term profits to shareholders. We think that things work best when ordinary people have a voice, and when services and businesses are accountable to the people who use them and work for them.

Co-operative societies and businesses set up the Co-operative Party almost 100 years ago as a voice in parliament to protect consumers and level the playing field for co-operatives. Our role is to mobilise political support to change the way the British economy, public services and society works and securing a strong voice for co-operators at all levels of government is as vital as it ever was.

Back the campaign

I think it is vital that the co-operative movement has a political voice to promote co-ops and co-operation. The point where we are about to make a breakthrough into mainstream policy this is not the time to give up our voice. If you agree with me please back the Keep It Coop campaign here.


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