UK Politics

Fire Brigades Union to re-affiliate to Labour

Essex fire engine Image copyright ECFRS

Members of the Fire Brigades Union have voted to re-affiliate to the Labour Party, a decade after leaving it.

The FBU, which has 44,000 members, agreed the move at a special conference in Blackpool.

The union split from Labour in 2004 in opposition to Tony Blair's policies, but has been a strong backer of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said the party "had changed for the better" in recent months.

Mr Wrack said: "We have a Labour Party leader and shadow chancellor who are vehemently opposed to austerity, who are ready to fight for a fair alternative that doesn't attack the living standards, livelihoods and the hard won rights of working people."

'Warm welcome'

He said the "best chance" they had of "halting the now critical cuts to fire and rescue services" was to elect an anti-austerity party to government.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was "great news" and the vote "marks a milestone in the building of our new politics and our Labour movement".

"I thank the FBU for this vote of confidence in our new politics which believes investing in our public services is a matter of national pride," he said.

"To those FBU members who are now in a Labour-affiliating union for the first time, I look forward to extending a warm welcome.

"And to those who are coming back to Labour with the union, I say welcome home."

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