Updated: Monday, 27th January 2020 @ 4:34pm

Here's how to do it: Manchester's rising Labour star offers helping hand to Ed Miliband ahead of 2015 election

Here's how to do it: Manchester's rising Labour star offers helping hand to Ed Miliband ahead of 2015 election

By Sam Taylor

A rising Labour star from Manchester is hoping to help spearhead the party's rise back to power in 2015.

Tom Scholes-Fogg has never been scared to share his opinionsand now he's dited a selection of essays by senior Labour figures into a book advising Ed Miliband on how to ensure a Labour victory at the next General Election.

He has been blogging since 2009 because he believes it is a great way of commenting on the latest news and participating in important topical debates.

And during the 2010 election campaign, he had the chance to meet former Prime Minister and Labour leader, Tony Blair.

“I’ve always been a big fan of Tony Blair,” he said. “He is hugely charismatic and still has so much to offer.

“I admire him more than any other Labour politician because he, just like Neil Kinnock when he was leader, realised that the Labour Party had to move with the times and reach beyond traditional Labour voters.

“In fact, the best impression I do is of Blair, and doing impressions is how I got into politics.”

Growing up in a working class part of Manchester, Tom soon realised he shared the same values as the Labour Party.

“I felt that Labour was the party for me,” he said. “Everything I have done in politics I owe to Labour.”

He joined the Labour and Co-operative Party in 2008 and started off training as a chef at the Hilton when he left school and has always maintained an interest in current affairs.

“I read many blogs and I thought why not give it a go and see if anybody wants to listen to what I have to say,” he said.

He uses his blog to discuss Labour and national politics and it gave him a helpful platform when he supported Ed Miliband in Labour’s highly publicised leadership election in 2010.

“I backed him because I believed in him,” he said. “I believe he can lead the Labour Party back into government.

“He’s admitted the mistakes the party made when in office and he wants to put people at the heart of his vision.

“I believe he has the right attitude to stand up for the hard working people in the country and his One Nation vision is something that is attractive and it doesn’t alienate people.”

However, he admits Miliband and the Labour Party have been vague on policy detail and need to present their ideas to make themselves more appealing to the electorate.

“We don’t need in-depth policy at this stage but we do need more of a vision,” he said.

Tom caused a stir among party supporters in December 2011 after saying to the Independent on Sunday he wished he had backed older brother David Miliband because of his more statesman like personality and Ed’s lack of vision.

He even went so far as to suggest Labour should consider electing a female leader to attract the female voters abandoning the Conservative Party.

However, he thinks Ed has now improved significantly as leader and is beginning to act like the man he voted for.

“Come 2015 I have no doubt he will be a very serious contender for the top job,” he said.

Tom was lucky enough to be sat right behind Miliband when he made his first speech as party leader to the 2010 Labour Party Conference in Manchester.

After the speech Tom met up with a friend and started to answer the question every party member was asking: what next for Labour?

“I got in touch with a few friends from the Parliamentary Labour Party and one or two people who worked for Tony and Gordon,” he said. “I mentioned the idea of a book to them and there seemed to be genuine interest.

“It was needed because the Labour Party hadn’t been able to have a full, open and honest debate since the 1990s.”

The book ‘What Next for Labour?’ is edited by both Tom and Hisham Hamid. It’s full of essays on a range of issues by contributors including Manchester’s Police & Crime Commissioner and former MP Tony Lloyd.

It proved popular with party members, partly for its creative front cover depicting all 10 post war party leaders staring into a computer screen, obviously debating the party’s future. 

But for Tom, it’s important the Labour Party remains pro-business and tackles basic issues on jobs, immigration and housing and must end child poverty in the UK.

“The last Labour government has a record to be proud of,” he said. “But many mistakes were made and 5 million people abandoned the party. Trust needs to be restored and the party must remain focussed.”

He rejects the idea that the Labour Party is losing ground to the Conservatives on social issues as David Cameron presents himself as more liberal than other Conservative leaders.

“We have to remember that it was the Labour Party that reduced the age of consent for homosexuals, introduced civil partnerships and ended the ban on LGBT people serving in our armed forces,” he said.

He added: “Labour has a history to be proud of. If anything the Conservatives are losing ground to Labour.”

So what next for Tom?

“My desire and what drives me is helping others,” he said. “Whilst I have done a lot around politics, I’ve always said that if I can help people outside of politics then so be it.”

“I love my party and I firmly believe that Britain is a better place with a Labour government.”

Tom’s blog can be read on: www.blog.tomscholesfogg.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Tom Scholes-Fogg, with thanks.

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