THE launch of the new name for the Christian Socialist Movement,
Christians on the Left, was accompanied by a call for socialism to
"rediscover exiled traditions" (
News, 23 August).
Jon Cruddas MP, a member of the Shadow Cabinet and responsible
for writing the Labour Party's manifesto for the next election,
told the event at the House of Commons on Tuesday of last week that
the party needed to rebuild its historic links to Christianity.
"Changing the name is important for renewal and modernisation,"
Mr Cruddas said. "The point is not to get a more Christian policy
offer, but to link these foundational principles to what Labour is
Stephen Timms MP, chairman of Christians on the Left, said that
the organisation existed to shape policy around Christian themes
such as compassion, and solidarity. "Our task is also to influence
Christians and persuade them to vote Labour, and to think through
the political implications of their faith," he said.
The director of the organisation, Andy Flanagan, said: "This is
about raising our sights - 7.5 million people go to church once a
month, but we have only 1500 members."
Mr Timms said that being called Christians on the Left would
bring in more members, especially among the younger generation.