Shadow cabinet minister Clive Lewis visits Ipswich Labour Party

Shadow cabinet member Clive Lewis, talking to Ipswich Labour Party.

Shadow cabinet member Clive Lewis, talking to Ipswich Labour Party. - Credit: Archant

Labour’s shadow trade and industry secretary Clive Lewis has visited Ipswich to encourage party members as thoughts start to turn towards this year’s election.

Mr Lewis has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the Labour ranks since being elected as Norwich South MP at the 2015 general election.

However, while he was an early supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, he was moved to his present job from being shadow defence secretary last year after a dispute over Labour’s Trident policy.

In his new role, Mr Lewis is responsible for developing the party’s industrial strategy – and building policies that can attract votes in seats like Ipswich where Labour has lost badly during the last two general elections.

He said: “We have to look forward with a strategy looking to embrace new technologies and low-carbon businesses, not the kind of intervention we had in the 1970s”

Things had changed over the last two years with more people becoming involved in political debate – with issues like the EU referendum and Donald Trump’s election to the US presidency.

Mr Lewis said: “For a party like Ipswich it is very important to make the case for our policies. It was a concern about the way things are going that let to the Brexit vote.

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“There are real concerns out there about low pay, about the lack of job security, the rise of the gig economy.

“We are making the case for more training, better education for people – and for equipping them better for the changes in work that will come during their working lives.”

About 100 people were at Thursday’s meeting, and Mr Lewis is hoping to return to help boost Labour’s campaigns over the next few years. Ipswich is likely to be a key target for the party at the next general election.