Our Young Labour Candidates

Benj Eckford for Northern rep

Membership number: L1197258

Benj Eckford in football shirt

Note: Benj can only be nominated by members in the North regions.

My name is Benjamin Eckford and I am standing for the position of Northern region rep on the Young Labour National Committee. I am originally from County Durham, I am the grandson of a coal miner and the son of a teacher, and I currently live in Newcastle. I joined the party in 2012 when I was 16 and have been a member ever since. I was proud to vote for Jeremy Corbyn to be leader in both 2015 and 2016. I am currently a full-time stay-at-home dad and a universal credit claimant.

I want to see a Young Labour that has more to say about the young parents, carers and guardians in its ranks, and the young parents in the country who we need to vote labour if we are to return to government. I believe that tuition fees should be abolished, and that the ESA and other student grants should be restored. I am currently a private renter, and believe in a massive programme of building affordable social housing. In the Northern region, I wish to see a proper Young Labour regional committee like they currently have in London and the North West. I will make our region’s voice heard on the national committee which has been far too London centric in recent years.

I wish to see a Young Labour that stands up unashamedly for socialist policies such as public ownership, higher taxes for the wealthy, and the abolition of all anti-union laws. We should also be standing up proudly for trans rights, even when it is factionally inconvenient. I am an internationalist, and was proud to campaign for Jeremy’s message of remain and reform in 2016. I supported our policy on a second referendum. I am a fully paid up member of Open Labour and Momentum, and am proud to be standing on the Open Labour slate in this election.

Robbie Scott for International Rep

Membership number: L17877611

At a grassroots scale, I’ve organised local climate strikes in Newcastle where over 1500 young people attended in September 2019, as well as promoting Labour’s green industrial revolution in the north east by speaking at an event alongside Mayor Jamie Driscoll and Ian Lavery. Nationally, I’m an events volunteer with Labour for a Green New Deal recently organising our launch event where Zarah Sultana spoke. I’m a volunteer with UKSCN and Teach The Future. In March 2020, I debated resolutions to improve Youth participation in democracy at the North East Regional Session of European Youth Parliament and were selected to go to the National session in the UK.

As Berwick Upon Tweed’s CLP Youth Officer I’ve actively engaged with young members to developing campaigns focussed on issues promoting Labour’s Youth manifesto.

As International rep on Young Labours National Committee, I will commit to building an internationalist Young Labour by:

  • Supporting International Climate justice,
  • Committing to debt cancellation for countries in the developing world who have suffered through generations of colonial exploitation.
  • Providing international aid and solidarity. Climate should be mainstreamed in all aid and should be increased to meet the needs of developing countries 
  • Support enforceable standards in trade and investment agreements that protect human and workers rights and the climate.
  • Share technology with developing countries and support a transition to a green economy with climate justice at its heart, by eliminating the wealth gap.
  • Supporting international struggles.
  • Building stronger relationships with our sister youth parties in the EU, to coordinate actions to young people taking action in struggling democracies like Belarus.
  • Create a special relationship with the Youth Democratic Socialists of America based on the principles of socialism and internationalism, as a counter to Trump’s racist neoliberal agenda, and support them in campaigning to get radicals into office like Jamaal Bowman.
  • Organise within local Young Labour Groups to coordinate actions to support grassroots social justice movements such as BLM and LGBTQ+ comrades in Poland, and fundraising to support actions of those movements.
  • Building Young Labour as an anti-racist party.
  • Lobby for mandatory for unconscious bias training for all young  members develop by members of minority groups
  • Lobby for the Labour Party to support equal rights for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. 
  • The creation of an autonomous conference for youth international policy development. Focussed on breaking down borders and building strong international trade union relationships.

Sacha Marten for Student Rep

Membership number: L1412546

Picture of Sacha Marten in Hawaiian shirt

Note: Sacha can only be nominated by registered student members. To verify as a student member, click here.

Hi, I’m Sacha and I’m from Kent. I’ve been an officer in my CLP for the last five years and in that time, I’ve helped organise election campaigns, and stood in Borough and County elections, and in 2019 I was a conference delegate and took our Green New Deal motion through compositing, as well as speaking for passing Labour Campaign For Free Movement’s motion.

Our local Young Labour group is small and spread across a large area, but we punch above its weight – we’ve organised anti-coup and BLM demonstrations, and our current local project is to work with our newly formed West Kent TUC to unionise service sector workers, and to support local LGBT+ organisations.

What I stand for

Education

  • Post-16 education and training must be free. Lifelong learning, and a chance to reskill.
  • Abolish fees and provide non-means tested living maintenance grants for all students from 16 up.
  • Win a living wage for apprentices.
  • Abolish Academy, grammar, and private schools. Provide secular, comprehensive school education for all.
  • Abolish all exams up to and including GCSEs. 
  • End outsourcing in education – bring outsourced staff in-house on fixed contracts.
  • A democratic education system: put all staff and students in charge of decision-making.
  • A Labour student body more than fit to replace NOLS, with a grassroots-up structure. Open to students of all ages and backgrounds, from young FE college students to mature students taking Masters at university. Ensuring functional, open and successful Labour Clubs.

Democratising Young Labour

  • Publish full voting records and minutes of Young Labour’s National Committee and allow branches to hold the NC accountable.
  • Young Labour and YL’s branches should be financially independent, with access to their own membership data and subs.
  • Make the Young Labour website an open forum for debate between young activists.
  • Annual policy conferences.
  • Clean up clique culture: make priorities of safeguarding, committee transparency, and informing and educating members.

Continued Life on Earth

  • Abolish nuclear weapons.
  • For a worker-led transition to a green economy: workplace democracy and public ownership, and free retraining for all those facing redundant polluting jobs.
  • Labour should back the climate strikes and promote workplace climate action.

Workers’ rights and the economy

  • Make YL a school for workplace organisers – train up the next generation of militant trade unionists.
  • Abolish all anti-union laws and make Labour “the party of strikes”. Mobilise YL support nationally for disputes like the Tower Hamlets council workers’ strike and the NHS workers’ pay movement.
  • Fight for full employment and an increase in the minimum wages set at the same level for all age groups.
  • Fight for tenants’ rights: reach out to ACORN and renters’ unions.
  • Nationalise privatised public utilities, transport and the banks.
  • Tax the rich to rebuild public services.
  • Fight bigotry wherever we find it. For trans rights and Black Lives Matter.

Internationalism

  • Support union and democratic rights everywhere.
  • Support the Belarus democracy struggle and the Polish LGBT fight.
  • Support the Uyghurs and the Hong Kong democracy movement.
  • Fight antisemitism, including “left” wing antisemitism in the labour movement.
  • No to “Little England” nationalism and electoral patriotism.
  • For freedom of movement. Abolish migrant detention centres and end deportation of settled residents as a ‘double-punishment’ for criminal offences.
  • Coordinate international actions with comrades in socialist and workers’ across the globe.