Owen Jones visited Cambridge last Friday, to speak to a hall packed with students with Daniel Zeichner and endorse his campaign for re-election as Cambridge’s MP, at an event organised by CULC. Jones also encouraged students to canvass for Daniel, and help out with his campaign.
The evening opened with Owen Jones giving a characteristically rousing and charismatic speech, advocating equality, and protection of the vulnerable. He gave Daniel specific support, and focused on his rebellion against the party whip as he voted against the triggering of Article 50, putting his constituency before his shadow ministerial position. Jones criticised the Lib Dems, citing their support for the bedroom tax, the party’s u-turn on student fees, and their lack of commitment to electoral pledges as reasons not to vote for them. The Conservatives were also attacked, as Jones described the reality of the bedroom tax, the lack of investment in young people through tuition fee increases, the scrapping of EMA and zero-hour contracts.
Daniel then took the floor, and explained his commitment to Cambridge. He praised ‘the values’ that make it important to retain a Labour MP and then went on to give his own views on Brexit, affirming "I believe in countries working together. I understand the referendum result; it was the worst day for many years for me, but I will always vote against our leaving the EU" and described the changes he’s experienced on the doorstep with EU nationals feeling unwanted by the UK since the referendum.
Daniel looked forward, stating that "there was nothing on that ballot paper that said we were going for a hard Brexit […] It’s entirely possible to be consistent with the referendum result and be in the single market, and have many many many of the benefits that we are getting at the moment". He said that Keir Starmer's much more subtle approach would secure a better outcome for Britain and promised that the future of EU nationals would be secured immediately by a Labour Government.
After huge applause, the group of students joined Daniel and Owen Jones to canvass the streets in the surrounding area of Newnham. With over 100 students at the event, many joined the local Labour team to knock on doors in Newnham, and received positive responses on doorsteps.