Up to County Hall in Durham today for a European Forum organised by Labour MEP Stephen Hughes. It was attended by 70+ members.
Stephen is a first-class MEP (who happens to live in Darlington), but is now Labour's sole European representative in the North East. It was galling in 2004 when his fellow Labour MEP Mo O'Toole lost her seat to LibDem Fiona Hall. Whilst Fiona is an adequate self-publicist, she is by all accounts an ineffective operator in Brussels. The people of the North East deserve better.
I chaired a fascinating workshop entitled "No Frontiers - Sustainability, Energy and the Environment in Europe". With lead speakers who included Anna Colombo from the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, and former Labour MEP Dr Gordon Adams, it was a lively session. Meetings like this are vital as Labour activists build up their effort to win at least two seats here in the North East in 2009.