To all candidates in the Labour Party leadership campaign
The campaign for the leadership of the Labour Party will involve discussion of Iraq.
Labour Friends of Iraq (LFIQ) was established by those who either opposed or supported the intervention.
We put aside these deep differences to work together to provide moral and material support to the Iraqi labour movement and other parts of civil society as well as to help the democratic and federal political process in Iraq.
In regular discussions in Iraq and in the UK with a wide range of Iraqi political and social forces, we have also sought to boost commercial and cultural connections between our two countries as part of a deep and broad non-military strategic relationship.
We know from our visits to Iraq that this is keenly desired by Iraqis.
We are writing to ask you to agree with us on these points and, whatever your views on the intervention in 2003, to commit yourself to work for full trade union rights, increased women’s rights and better UK-Iraq links.
We ask that you give your backing to the International call for a fair and just labour law in Iraq.
This is supported by the TUC, the ITUC and many others around the world and calls on the Iraqi Government and Parliament to implement a fair and just labour law.
Full details of these issues can be found on our website. We would be happy to brief you in greater detail.
We are asking you to show leadership by going beyond discussion of the intervention to making concrete pledges to help Iraqis themselves stand on their own two feet. This was the overwhelming message given to LFIQ when we met 22 leaders of the Iraqi trade union movement in 2006 in Iraq. We hope that you will also support them.
Dave Anderson MP and Gary Kent