BCP leaders attend Labour Party conference


Three Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leaders recently attended the annual Labour Party conference in the United Kingdom.

The BCP deputy leader Kesitegile Gobotswang, deputy secretary general Tshegofatso Raditlhokwa, and Women’s League president Daisy Bathusi represented the party at the conference.

“Contrary to some local media reports the real friends of the BCP are not about to dump it over its performance in the 2014 general elections.

 In particular the long term support and relationship between the BCP and the British Labour Party has grown over the years,” said Gobotswang.

He said this is because the relationship is founded on shared values of equality, social justice, fairness, and solidarity. “It is a relationship that is based on mutual respect and not prescriptive.

That is why every year we are invited to attend the Labour Party annual conference which is one of the largest party conferences in the whole world. This year was not an exception.”

 “It is through our relationship with the Labour Party that we get technical support to build capacity and benefit from study visits through Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD). The BCP was also given an opportunity to take part during the May 2015 British elections; doing door to door campaigns side by side with committed Labour Party volunteers in the true spirit of international solidarity.”

Gobotswang said during the conference the international visitors were addressed by the new Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Hilary Benn the Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and Iain McNicol the Labour Party General Secretary among others. “We shared experiences with our host especially in relation to regrouping and rebuilding our organisations after bad general election results. It was encouraging to learn that more than 160,000 new members joined the Labour Party after the May 2015 British elections.”

The annual conference was held in Brighton under the theme ‘Straight Talking: Honest Politics’. The conference was attended by a record 11,000 visitors and delegates and 200 international visitors.

In addition to BCP, other African fraternal friends of the British opposition party such as the African National Congress of South Africa, Ettakatol from Tunisia, Frelimo of Mozambique, National Democratic Congress of Ghana, Convention Peoples Party of Ghana, Social Democratic Party of Egypt, and Social Democratic Front of Cameroon, had representation.

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