Stephen Twigg is to become the new chair of Progress. Andy Burnham, a patron of Progress and Home Office minister; Ed Miliband, a former adviser to Gordon Brown and newly elected MP for Doncaster North; Meg Munn, the minister for women and equalities; and Baroness Delyth Morgan, former chief executive of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity, join Tony Robinson as vice chairs of Progress.
Stephen Twigg replaces David Lammy, who became the first chair of the organisation in 2002. The Tottenham MP and culture, media and sport minister now becomes a patron of the organisation, alongside former vice chairs Parmjit Dhanda, Bev Hughes and Ruth Turner.
Stephen Twigg said of his appointment: ‘I am delighted to have become chair of Progress at this important time for Labour. Healthy debate about ideas and policies lies at the heart of progressive politics – without real debate we face the danger of decay. Progress can bring together people and politicians so that democracy is renewed and strengthened and so that our shared vision of a progressive 21st century can be realised.
‘Progress has a strong team of staff, officers and patrons with a real commitment to open debate about politics. It is my privilege to take over from David Lammy as chair and I thank David for all his work.’
Incoming vice chair Ed Miliband sketched his view of Progress’ vital future role: ‘Intellectual and political discussion and debate are essential if we are to sustain the Labour government through the third term and beyond. Progress must be a forum for this debate among activists throughout the country. Progress also has a vital role to play in educating and enthusing younger people about the Labour movement and its ideals.’
In addition, Progress announces a number of new patrons this month. Two ministers appointed to the cabinet in May, the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, John Hutton, and the minister for communities and local government, David Miliband, become patrons, as does Europe minister Douglas Alexander. David Miliband’s colleague at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Yvette Cooper, also becomes a patron, as do two new members of the House of Commons, the Tooting MP Sadiq Khan, and Kitty Ussher, MP for Burnley, and the former Bethnal Green and Bow MP, Oona King.
From the world of local government, the mayor of Doncaster, Martin Winter, and the leader of Camden council, Jane Roberts, also become patrons.
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