Indigo Haynes, 15-year-old Budehaven pupil and elected delegate for North Cornwall Labour Party, was the first membership speaker to be called at the 2019 Labour Conference in Brighton on Saturday. To rapturous applause, she spoke passionately to the Constitutional Amendment that Cornwall should devolve from the national Labour Party and run its own campaigns separately from the rest of the South West Region.
An impassioned Indigo highlighted how Cornwall was still one of the poorest regions in Northern Europe and described the successes of previous Labour Party campaigns. Her speech continued,
‘In 2017, Labour beat the Lib Dems to come 2nd in four of our six Tory-held constituencies. Two of those are now key target seats, and we will win them, at the next election. Cornwall Council is one of the largest unitary authorities in the country. Its annual budget is £1.2 billion. And which party holds the largest number of seats? Yes, you’ve guessed it. The Tories. We want to change that, and we will. With a little help from you.
In Cornwall, we raise more than £300,000 a year from Labour memberships. Yet our regional board is based 167 miles from our capital, Truro. Now, we recognise that we represent a geographical challenge. But the answer is to treat Cornwall the same way we treat Scotland and Wales. If we got half – just half – of what we raise, we could employ two full-time organisers, and set up a Labour Party campaign office within Cornwall itself, to fight for the most vulnerable in our society!’
Unfortunately, due to a timing error by the Chair, Indigo was called to finish at 2 minutes 23 seconds, instead of the full 3 minutes she was allowed. So her speech was cut short by over half a minute. See her speech here.
Indigo said she wanted to add that the motion was ‘about grass-roots activists, out on the streets, running our own campaigns, getting young people like me involved in politics —- in order to get more people voting Labour, more Labour MPs elected, and a Labour government back in power.’
The motion fell after a card vote was taken, but many people in the hall praised Indigo for ‘speaking passionately and convincingly’ and spoke how she had changed their minds and their votes on the issue.
On Monday, Indigo was also spotted by BBC1 News singing ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn!’ at the end of the Conference Brexit Debate. Whatever your politics, I’m sure you will agree that Indigo did brilliantly. She surely has a political career ahead.