Young Labour (United Kingdom) Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Labour_(United_Kingdom)

Young Labour
ChairJessica Barnard
Honorary PresidentLuiz Inácio Lula da Silva[1]
Preceded byLabour Party Young Socialists
IdeologySocial democracy
Democratic socialism
Colours  Red
Mother partyLabour Party
International affiliationInternational Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY)
European affiliationYoung European Socialists (YES)
Websitewww.younglabour.org.uk Edit this at Wikidata

Young Labour is the youth section of the UK Labour Party. Membership is automatic for Labour Party members aged 14 to 26.[2]

It exists to involve young people in the Labour Party and ensure that the aspirations of young people are reflected in Labour's policies in power. Young Labour members are able to get involved in the Labour Party through local policy events, campaigning or by attending events and social gatherings.

Young Labour hosts an annual conference, alternating between national committee elections and policy conferences every other year. Young Labour also holds a range of additional national events, including fringe sessions at the Labour Party's annual conference.

Young Labour is affiliated to both the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) and Young European Socialists (YES).


Throughout much of the 20th century, younger members of the Labour party were represented first by the Labour League of Youth and later by the Labour Party Young Socialists. These organisations often positioned themselves on the left of the party and frequently had a difficult relationship with its leadership. The latter of these groups went into decline in the late 1980s after reforms were made to make it more manageable and closed down entirely in 1991.[3][4]

Young Labour was founded in 1993 by a Labour Party annual conference motion in Brighton, proposed by Tom Watson, seconded by Brian Whitington, then Chair of the Labour Party Young Socialists, and supported by then National Executive Committee Youth Representative Claire Ward.[3]

In October 2017, Young Labour passed a motion at their annual conference which called for Britain to withdraw from NATO.[5][6]

In May 2018, the organisation started a digital campaign against then-Labour MP Chuka Umunna after it was revealed that he employed university students to be unpaid interns. The campaign, "#PayUpChuka', led to the Labour leadership briefing the Parliamentary Labour Party that employing unpaid interns runs contrary to Labour's 2017 general election manifesto.[7]

In October 2018, Young Labour voted to make Brazilian labour leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva its honorary president.[1]

On 25 February 2022, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer scrapped Young Labour's annual conference in response to activists from the youth section criticising his backing for NATO during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[8] The tweets from earlier in February condemned Starmer for his "celebrating" of closer cooperation with NATO while he was also "attacking Stop the War and other pro-peace activists."[8] Some of the statements from Young Labour were cited as follows:

"Nato’s acts of aggression both historical and present are a threat to all of our safety"[8]

"Stoking up tension, macho posturing & trying to 'out do' the Tories on hawkish foreign policy will only lead to further devastation, loss of life and displacement of people across the world"[8]

It was also announced that Young Labour's funding would be cut in response to the comments, whilst its Twitter account was restricted by the party for what was described as breaches of acceptable "standards of behaviour".[8][9][10] The move was condemned as bullying by Young Labour's elected chair Jessica Barnard, who also said it may drive young people away from Labour.[8] An article from The Canary dubbed the move "Keir Starmer's latest authoritarian crackdown."[11] The Labour party's shadow foreign secretary David Lammy described Young Labour's views as “lazy knee-jerk” anti-Americanism and said that “They don’t speak on behalf the party."[10]


Members of the Labour Party aged 14 to 26 are automatically members of Young Labour.[12]


Young Labour National Committee[edit]

The Young Labour National Committee acts as the executive of the organisation. It includes a chair, the National Executive Committee (NEC) youth rep, an international officer, five liberation officers, two ordinary reps, five trade union reps, three Labour Students reps, and 11 national and regional reps. In addition, the Labour Party appoints a permanent secretary to act as facilitator, National Policy Forum youth reps appoint a vice chair (policy), and the youth wings of affiliated organisations, such as the Co-operative Party and the Fabian Society, are able to appoint a representative.[13]

Chair of Young Labour[edit]

Between 1991 and 2009 the Chair of Young Labour was appointed by the Labour Party.[citation needed] Reforms passed by the Labour Party's annual conference saw the creation of a democratically elected chair, voted for by delegates at Young Labour's national conference, to serve a two-year term. The first election took place in 2009.[citation needed] In late 2017 the Labour Party's NEC changed the system so that the Chair of Young Labour is elected by a one-member-one-vote ballot of young members.[14] It was reported that over 7,000 young members voted in the 2018 election.[15]

Elected chairs of Young Labour[edit]

  • 2009–2011: Sam Tarry[16]
  • 2011–13: Susan Nash[17]
  • 2013–16: Simon Darvill[18][19]
  • 2016–18: Caroline Hill
  • 2018–2020: Miriam Mirwitch[15]
  • Since 2020: Jessica Barnard[20]

National Executive Committee Youth Rep[edit]

Delegates at Young Labour's national conference also elected the Youth Rep to sit on the Labour Party's NEC. The election operated under an electoral college, with a third of the vote for young member delegates, a third for Labour Students delegates, and a third for delegates from affiliated trade unions and socialist societies.

For the 2018 election, the system was changed, with half of the vote allocated to young members through a one-member-one-vote ballot and half allocated to block votes by affiliated trade unions and socialist societies.[14]

Local groups[edit]

Young Labour groups exist at the local, regional, national, and international level, supporting the activity of the wider Labour Party and feeding in to Young Labour through its national committee.

The national groups are:

  • Scottish Young Labour
  • Welsh Young Labour
  • Young Labour NI
  • Young Labour International

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Barnett, Marcus (3 October 2018). "Young Labour: Why we've just made Lula our honorary president". LabourList. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Splash - Official Labour Organisation Sites". Younglabour.org.uk. Archived from the original on 31 August 2018. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b Webb, Michelle (2007). "The rise and fall of the Labour league of youth" (PDF). University of Huddersfield Repository – via University of Huddersfield.
  4. ^ According to Ted Grant, "The Real Situation In Britain", 1947, as quoted in Marxists and the British Labour Party: The Experience of Entrism; A Note on Ted Grant's Explanation of Entrism in the 1940s
  5. ^ Fisher, Lucy (16 October 2017). "Young Labour Calls for Nato Withdrawal". The Times. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  6. ^ Buchan, Lizzy (16 October 2017). "Young Labour brands Donald Trump a 'fascist' and calls for Nato withdrawal". The Independent. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  7. ^ "#PayUpChuka: Umunna humiliated in unpaid intern row". New Statesman. 31 May 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Merrick, Rob (25 February 2022). "Keir Starmer axes Young Labour's conference and cuts funding after it attacked backing for Nato". The Independent. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  9. ^ Jarvis, Chris (25 February 2022). "Labour Party seizes control of youth wing's Twitter account". Left Foot Forward. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  10. ^ a b Chappell, Elliot (25 February 2022). "Young Labour Twitter account restricted for being "detrimental" to Labour aims". LabourList. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  11. ^ Topple, Steve (25 February 2022). "Keir Starmer's latest authoritarian crackdown is dire timing". The Canary. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  12. ^ "Labour Join Donate Renew". Join.labour.org.uk. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Young Labour National Committee 2013-15 - Labour Youth". Younglabour.org.uk. Archived from the original on 22 June 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  14. ^ a b Kentish, Benjamin (1 December 2017). "Jeremy Corbyn allies accused of 'stitch up' after changing election rules for key committee post". The Independent. Archived from the original on 18 March 2018. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Miriam Mirwitch elected as Young Labour Chair". Labour List. 16 March 2018. Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Sam Tarry becomes chair of Young Labour « Birmingham University Labour Students". Bulsonline.org. 18 April 2009. Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  17. ^ "Youth Conference, February 2011". 3 December 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). www.younglabour.org.uk. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Youth Elections 2013: The Results". Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  20. ^ Rodgers, Sienna (13 November 2020). "Labour national executive committee election results released". LabourList. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  21. ^ "The young idealist who took on the old hand". The Daily Telegraph. 16 March 2001. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  22. ^ "Chocoholic with the willpower to stay on-message". The Daily Telegraph. 6 June 2001. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  23. ^ "Loughborough University Institutional Repository : Panelism in Action" (PDF). Dspace.lboro.ac.uk. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  24. ^ "The big squeeze (From Herald Scotland)". Heraldscotland.com. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  25. ^ "Inside Labour's Bermuda Triangle". Socialist Party. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  26. ^ Claire McCarthy. "Speaking from the heart | Politics". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  27. ^ Claire McCarthy. "A thoroughly modern conference | Politics". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  28. ^ "The young ones | Progress | News and debate from the progressive community". Progressonline.org.uk. 6 June 2002. Archived from the original on 28 September 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  29. ^ "nec_march2001". Annblack.com. 27 March 2001. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  30. ^ "About me". Jonathanreynolds.org.uk. 26 March 2014. Archived from the original on 8 September 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  31. ^ Anderson, Joe (26 January 2012). "Jonathan Reynolds MP announced as the new Vice Chair Youth". LabourList. Archived from the original on 18 June 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  32. ^ "Young Labour at the heart of the fightback « Labour Uncut". Labour-uncut.co.uk. 11 February 2011. Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  33. ^ Anderson, Joe (12 February 2011). "Young Labour conference 2011: Liveblog". LabourList. Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.

External links[edit]