Milton Keynes Labour Party has made history and become the first local party to elect two members to a jointly held Officer position. New rules passed at the recent National Conference means that Officers can job share a position, opening up roles to those who are unable to undertake the demanding role alone. Last week, at an All Members Meeting, Christine Davies and Emily Orchard were elected to share the role of Women’s Officer.
Job sharing of CLP Officer roles was made possible by the rule change passed at the Labour Party Annual Conference in Liverpool at the end of September. Again, it was Milton Keynes Labour Party who led the way, submitting a motion proposed by local members Carole Baume and Emily Darlington, calling upon the Labour Party to revise the rules in order to allow job sharing. Conference agreed.
When the role of MKLP Women’s Officer became vacant soon after, Christine Davies saw it as the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the new rule and approached Emily Orchard to suggest a joint nomination. Christine and Emily are keen to support women to become more involved in the Party. Christine recognizes that not everyone is able to be active in the same way but that those women are still able to engage and contribute in other ways,:
“For me, it’s all about being inclusive and not leaving anyone out. This is why it’s so important for Emily and I to reach out to all our women members, as every woman has a part to play.”
As well as sharign the role with Christine, Emily has been selected by members in Stantonbury Ward to contest the seat at next May’s local elections.
Lilian Martins was also nominated for the post and, although it was Christine and Emily who narrowly won the vote, Lilian remains an active member of the MKLP Women’s Group and is the party’s Disability Coordinator where she puts her knowledge and experience to good use.