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Senior Labour MP urges women to share their voice in politics at Ipswich May Day Festival

PUBLISHED: 18:31 06 May 2018 | UPDATED: 18:31 06 May 2018

Shadow first secretary and shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry addresses the crowd at Ipswich's May Day Festival. Picture: JASON NOBLE

Shadow first secretary and shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry addresses the crowd at Ipswich's May Day Festival. Picture: JASON NOBLE

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A senior Labour MP has called for better representation of women in politics during an address in Ipswich on Sunday.

Entertainment at the Ipswich May Day Festival in Alexandra Park. Picture: ARCHANTEntertainment at the Ipswich May Day Festival in Alexandra Park. Picture: ARCHANT

Labour’s Emily Thornberry, shadow first secretary and shadow foreign secretary, spoke at the May Day Festival in Alexandra Park this afternoon.

In a brief but wide-ranging speech, Ms Thornberry thanked Ipswich for delivering the town’s MP Sandy Martin to Parliament, and spoke of the need to work together, cut austerity and give women a voice in politics.

She said: “It’s brilliant to be here on this day and what we are celebrating is what we can achieve when we work together.”

Ms Thornberry spoke about wanting to see more women have a role in trade unions, as well as politics generally,

Crowds lap up the sunshine in Alexandra Park for the May Day Festival. Picture: ARCHANTCrowds lap up the sunshine in Alexandra Park for the May Day Festival. Picture: ARCHANT

“I think that politics is much stronger if it includes everybody,” she said.

“For too long it’s been dominated by a very talented but male group of people, and it really shouldn’t just be dominated by white men.

“I am really invested in it, and I feel it’s my duty to put my hand out and bring other women up.”

As well as her passion for helping women into politics, the 57-year-old hailed Sandy Martin’s work for the town and festival-goers for getting behind the event and rallying in their thousands.

Shadow first secretary and shadwo foreign secretary Emily Thornberry speaking at the May Day Festival in Ipswich. Picture: JASON NOBLEShadow first secretary and shadwo foreign secretary Emily Thornberry speaking at the May Day Festival in Ipswich. Picture: JASON NOBLE

Speaking about the need to continue finding out what was most important to constituents, she added: “We have got to keep knocking on doors and learn from the public.

“It’s the public that have the answers, and we can learn a huge amount from them.”

The event was the 40th anniversary of the festival and featured a host of guest speakers, live bands and entertainment across three stages, as well as food stalls, fairground rides and activities for children.

The event has become known for high profile political speakers in recent years, with John McDonnell and Andy Burnham having made the trip to the festival in the last few years.

Entertainment at the Ipswich May Day Festival in Alexandra Park. Picture: ARCHANTEntertainment at the Ipswich May Day Festival in Alexandra Park. Picture: ARCHANT

FA Cup winner and Ipswich Town legend Roger Osborne opened the festivities at midday, while Unison’s Becky Tye and Chris Baugh from the PCS Union also gave public speeches.

Stalls campaigning on a host of issues included those highlighting public and private health disparities, discrimination and harassment and the place of trade unions.

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