A.K.A The 14th of November Movement
Left Unity was founded on the 30th November 2013 after an appeal by film director Ken Loach for a party to the left of Labour. The appeal received over 10,000 signatures and the party held its first national policy conference on the 29th of March 2014. A number of other left-wing groups, such as the Communist Party of Great Britain’s Provisional Central Committee, are affiliated to it.
Left Unity is the least economically liberal of the political parties. It advocates nationalisation of public utilities – including Royal Mail – the transport industry and the financial services sector. They plan to reverse the austerity spending cuts of the coalition and reduce working hours in order to attain full employment. The party is a firm believer in progressive taxation, advocates the introduction of a living wage and favours a cooperative approach to industry.
Left Unity social policy is liberal, with a firm commitment to anti-discrimination laws, and opposition to what it sees as the bureaucracy and anti-democratic nature of the major institutions of the UK. There is significant opposition within the party to traditional features of the UK political system, such as the House of Lords and the establishment of the Church of England.
Left Unity fully supports the welfare state and wishes to reverse the changes to the social security system implemented by the Coalition. They would abolish tuition fees, remove free schools, academies and NHS Trusts and provide more extensive subsidies for the arts. They would also include adult education and nurseries within the provision of free education.
Left Unity’s foreign policy is highly internationalist. They are anti-war but promote the participation of working people from all countries in ending oppression and capitalism across the world. They support self-determination for all nations, particularly the Palestinians and Kurds, and an international response to major world issues.
Left Unity is a green political party and believes that the reformation of the current economic system is necessary to combat climate change. They favour an international approach to resolving the problem and are also concerned with animal welfare and ecological diversity.
The party is governed by its national council, the National Secretary of which is Kate Hudson. Other notable Left Unity members include party Principal Speaker and journalist Salman Shaheen. The party did not exist at the time of the last General Election but has around 1,900 members.