Marvin Rees: Labour Party conference special


In what was the most important speech of his young political life, OBV alumni Marvin Rees was given a standing ovation at the Labour Party Conference last week.

Marvin who is the Labour party candidate in the fight to become the first directly elected Mayor for Bristol was asked to give the speech by way of introducing the Labour Party leader Ed Miliband.

Knowing that the UK and the world’s media would be watching - in part because they were waiting for the Labour leader- Marvin gave a humble, moving, yet upbeat and confident performance.

For us at OBV, we are rightly proud of this young man and I’m sure like many of you we hope that his energy and passion for what he wants to achieve in Bristol translates to him making history and and becoming the first directly elected Mayor of African/Caribbean decent not just in the UK but Europe.

Simon Woolley


Marvin Rees full speech:

"Conference, I'm Marvin Rees and I'm Labour's candidate to be the first elected Mayor of Bristol.

Bristol is a fantastic city. But like Britain we can do better.

Let me introduce myself. I'm from Bristol.

My family lived in Lawrence Weston and Easton.

I grew up in a home where we struggled to make ends meet.

We were a single parent household, brought up by my mum.

In my time growing up we saw deprivation, hardship and social division.

I felt we were invisible.

I saw that some people wanted for nothing while others struggled every day.

It gave me a desire to make the world different.

Not tinkering around but real change.

That's why the people in this hall today matter.

You ignored the people who say politics has nothing to offer.

You have stepped up to try to make things better for the majority.

I've become increasingly frustrated with those who do down involvement in public life.

If you dissuade people from getting involved in politics you disenfranchise the people who most need politics to work for them.

The kids from Eton aren't losing hope in the ability of politics to deliver for them.

But there is a challenge to us that we need to take into our communities too.

We can't just be touchline prophets.

It's why we have to get more people involved.

And it's why my campaign is working for the 99 per cent of people not just the privileged one per cent.

I want Bristol to be a city of aspiration.

With a vision for where it stands in the world and a plan for how to get there.

It is a big city vision that ensures no one is left behind.

My opponents have attacked me for saying I want a living wage for Bristol.

It says more about them than it does about the living wage.

They haven't got a clue about the hardships faced by thousands of families.

They are out of touch with the people living on my street.

They don't speak for them.

We will.

Change in my city means standing up for our public services.

The government has set out a disgraceful plan for regional pay in the NHS. But we will fight it.

They are taking police off our streets with 6% cuts. We will stand up to them.

We don't have enough apprenticeships or flexible childcare. We will start to put that right.

And because I want a city for everyone, workers and business alike - we will change our city and we will make Bristol a living wage city.

But it's not just about making promises.

I am saying to the people of Bristol, these are the changes we can make together.

You have something to offer. You have responsibility. You are a leader in this.

Let me tell you what I look for in a leader, and why I'm really pleased to be here today introducing the leader of our movement, Ed Miliband.

He gets it.

Ed will stand up for the majority against vested interests, like he did over the News of the World and is doing this week over the banks.

Ed fights for real change because we are not just a party for election time - we are a movement in our communities and neighbourhoods and we are there every day.

I know what happens when ideas are sucked out of society. You end up with a system with no soul. Ed will put values back into politics and will work for a country where no one is left behind.

Conference, Ed Miliband has to be the next Prime Minister of our country.

People in my city need Ed in Number 10. People in every part of Britain need him in Number 10.

Because Britain needs his values and his integrity... please welcome Ed Miliband. "