Q & A with Katy Clark MP
Coming up right here at 4.30pm today (Tuesday 18th Nov):
a LIVE question and answer session with Katy Clark MP!
Still time to submit your questions – use the comment box below (we’ll store the question not publish it as a comment), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet us at @LabourHame with hashtag #LHaskKaty.
Hope to be starting the live Q and A in a few minutes’ time.
Hello everyone, and welcome to our second live question and answer session in which we’ll be posing the questions you’ve submitted.
Today we’re joined by deputy leadership candidate Katy Clark MP.
Hi, great to be taking part in this Q and A.
Thanks very much. Okay, let’s start. First question is from Nairn:
I think encouraging young people into the Labour Party is vital for its future. As Deputy Leader how would you go about this?
Thanks Nairn. Great to hear from you. We need to offer young people hope with our policy agenda and make sure they know that their voice will be listened to in the Party.
Thanks! Kevin sent us this:
Hi Katy. What are you are thoughts on the party in Scotland becoming completely autonomous from the party down South?
Thanks for the question Kevin. We want to be part of a UK wide Labour Party and movement. But there is no doubt we need a great deal more autonomy than has existed in recent years both organisationally and in terms of policy. During this contest I hope we will debate how we devolve more power as soon as possible.
Chas asked a related question:
Do you think an autonomous Scottish Labour Party should include Clause 4 into what would be a new party constitution ?
I support public ownership. I presume you mean the old version of clause 4 rather than the current version. It would be up to members of the Scottish Labour Party to decide any changes to the constitution but I would support a commitment to public ownership and other basic principles. Good question!
Thanks Katy. This one is from Allana:
What would be your priorities if you were elected deputy leader?
Thanks for the question Allana. My priorities would be helping to deliver a policy agenda that would provide decent well paid jobs, enough homes and good quality public services. Most of all we need to provide hope and a vision of a better world with Scottish Labour policies being delivered at a UK, Scottish Parliament and local level. We need to listen to members, build better relationships with the unions and union members and hear what the people of Scotland are saying.
Thanks Katy. Next up is Ivana. She sent in the following:
You speak about being anti-austerity, but to really make a difference we need to have a fair amount of money being circulated. As a left-wing member, I believe in raising taxes. What is your stance?
I believe in progressive taxation and we need to start explaining what we mean by that – that it is worth paying a bit more in tax for better public services. That does mean the more wealthy paying more tax but also means the poor paying less. We need to map where the wealth of Scotland is and come forward with innovative policies to redistribute that wealth and power – and to eradicate poverty.
Excellent. Peter poses an interesting if slightly brutal question:
Do you agree that the Scottish Labour Party should commission an opinion poll to tell us which of the candidates for Leader and Deputy is most popular with voters, so that we can make an informed choice?
I don’t think that is the best use of the Labour Party’s money – as you will appreciate polls can be very volatile and can change from one week to the next. Whoever does well in a poll this week may not be our best choice in the long term. Scottish Labour members are better using their own judgement as to who should best perform these roles. Thanks for the question Peter.
Good answer! We believe in democracy here at Labour Hame. 🙂
Here’s Stephen’s question:
What experience do you have that makes you believe you are the best choice to be deputy leader?
I have more than 30 years campaigning experience. We need to accept that it can’t be business as usual. Many of the polices the Scottish people say they want such as the end of privatisation I have been campaigning on for many years. We need more radical policies but we also need to recognise that we are one party and that we do at Westminster matters and impacts on Scotland as well as what we do at Holyrood and in local councils. As an MP I can be a strong voice for Scottish Labour at Westminster.
Great stuff. I think we have time for a couple more questions?
Katy, I know you’ve said you think the leader should be an MSP, but what if an MP was elected leader and you were elected deputy. What would you do?
I plan to stay an MP. All 3 Leadership candidates say that the leader should be an MSP. Two are already MSPs and Jim says he wants to become one as soon as possible.
Squeezing one more in before the last one if that’s okay…
Karin asks what is your opinion on student fees, and what is your opinion on the bedroom tax?
I am against student fees and believe in free education and adequate student financial support.
I am completely opposed to the bedroom tax which has caused so much harm and have voted against it at every opportunity. I am campaigning for a massive council house building programme to address the housing crisis.
Thanks for that. And our final question is from Gabe:
Do you think we can win in 2015 and 2016?
Yes – we will win in both 2015 and 2016.
Let’s offer the Scottish people a positive vision of what our movement is about.
And thanks Gabe for a great last question.
Thanks Katy for a great Q and A session! Really appreciate you taking the time. All the best for the rest of the campaign!
This session will now be archived here. We look forward to posing your questions to the other candidates soon.
Thanks for joining us today.