Saturday, 11 February 2012



Bridgwater International founder and Labour councillor, Brian Smedley, took part in the launch of a long overdue 'Labour Friends of the Czech Republic' at Portcullis House in Westminster recently and has taken on the role of co-ordinating information amongst other Local Authorities with Czech twinning links and also of organising a Fact Finding trip to the Czech Republic in April 2012 in conjunction with Labours sister party CSSD (Czech Social Democrats).

The Launch meeting was organised by International Labour member  Tanweer Ali, who lives in Prague, and sponsored by Czech born former MP and now Lord Alf Dubbs.  The meeting was also attended by Mike Gapes MP, Former defence secretary Des Browne and various Labour members from both the UK and the Czech Republic.

Brian Smedley said "The trip to the Czech Republic has been set for 10th April and will include 3 nights in Prague - with an optional extra 2 nights in Uherske Hradiste for those that want to extend their stay. The Czech Social Democrats programme will include social events, including mutual discussions on campaigning, visits to CSSD run local authorities ,the Parliament & Senate plus meetings with senior party figures and  Trades Unionists. There will also be plenty of time for sight seeing and general socialising."
Prices for the trip are;- Bristol to Prague (3 nights)             £270
                                     Bristol to Prague & UH (5 nights)   £333
                                     London to Prague (3 nights)           £274
                                     London to Prague & UH (5 nights) £359

Anyone interested should contact Brian asap to book their place.

Tanweer Ali said in a statement after the meeting that the programme plan now for the Labour Friends of Czech Republic would be as  follows;-
Lord Dubbs & Tanweer Ali and the launch of
 Labour Friends of Czech republic

  • At the Labour Party Conference in Manchester we will arrange a gathering for LFCR members to meet with Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) visitors.
Action: TA to coordinate;

  • We will ask CSSD to let our group know when senior politicians and officials from their party are in the UK, with a view to setting up meetings where possible.
Action: TA to coordinate;

  • We will arrange a speaker meeting in London, ideally in the Houses of Parliament, with a high-profile speaker, on a topic of interest, from CSSD later in 2012.
Action: TA to coordinate;

  • We will try to ascertain how many Czechs live in London, and how to reach this community with a view to campaigning in the London mayoral elections.
Action: TA to liaise with CSSD;

  • We will set up a website to introduce our group, include the photograph which we took of participants in the initial meeting and advertise activities.
Action: Sam Beckwith;

  • Trip from Labour Party members to Prague in the first half of 2012.
Action: TA & Brian Smedley;

  • Investigate other town twinning links with the Czech Republic with a view to recruiting other Labour Party members to the group.
Action: Brian Smedley;

  • We agreed that it would make sense to set up a meeting for the Labour parliamentarians attending the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Prague in November 2012.
Action: TA to liaise with CSSD;

  • Alf Dubs will be in Vienna for an OSCE meeting on 23, 24 February.
Action: TA to identify Czech participants, to set up an informal meeting.

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