EXCL Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turns down offer to be star speaker at Labour conference

Posted On: 
20th September 2019

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has turned down the chance to be star speaker at the Labour party conference, PoliticsHome can reveal.

Labour asked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to be international speaker at conference.
Credit: 
PA Images

The party had hoped that the high-profile US Representative would travel to Brighton for the event.

Officials had pencilled her in to fill the prestigious "international speaker" slot on the Tuesday afternoon.

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But Ms Ocasio-Cortez turned down the offer, citing political commitments she has in America.

PoliticsHome understands that Labour also made a bid for fellow US Representative Ilhan Omar to be a speaker, but she also said no.

Both women are members of "The Squad" of four female Democrat congresswomen elected to the House of Representatives in 2018.

A Labour party source told PoliticsHome: "The US Congress is in session, so Senators and Representatives are not available."

Ms Ocasio-Cortez was forced to backtrack last February after speaking to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on the phone.

Following their conversation, Mr Corbyn tweeted: "Great to speak to on the phone this evening and hear first hand how she’s challenging the status quo. Let’s build a movement across borders to take on the billionaires, polluters and migrant baiters, and support a happier, freer and cleaner planet."

The congresswoman replied: "It was an honor to share such a lovely and wide-reaching conversation with you, ! Also honored to share a great hope in the peace, prosperity, + justice that everyday people can create when we uplift one another across class, race, + identity both at home & abroad."

But when another Twitter user pointed out the problems Mr Corbyn has had dealing with anti-semitism in the Labour party, Ms Ocasio-Cortez responded: "Thank you for bringing this to me. We cannot + will not move forward without deep fellowship and leadership with the Jewish community. I’ll have my team reach out."