The future of the left since 1884

Labour Country: How to reconnect with rural communities

The launch of the 'Labour Country' report which asks how Labour can go outside of its comfort zone and become a natural party of the countryside.


Publication launch

Event audio available here.

Labour often performs poorly in rural areas, and even where rural constituency Labour parties are strong they tend to be dominated by those who live in the largest settlements. As Labour’s base becomes ever-more metropolitan, there is a widespread perception in the countryside that Labour lacks understanding of local concerns and how to solve them. The party is seen to dictate to rural communities, rather than being rooted in such communities and articulating a policy agenda reflecting their interests.

This report explores the reasons for the disconnect between rural populations and the Labour party, and discusses how the party’s culture, organisation, message and policy could change both to earn the confidence of voters in rural areas, and to better serve them once in government.
The launch event will feature a short presentation of the project’s findings, a panel discussion and audience Q&A.


Sue Hayman MP (Workington & shadow secretary of state for environment, food & rural affairs)

David Drew MP (Stroud & shadow environment, food & rural affairs minister)

Lisa Nandy MP (Wigan)

Ruth Davis (writer and campaigner on nature and the common good)

Liam Stokes (Countryside Alliance)

Chair: Tobias Phibbs (Fabian Society)

Copies of the report will be available at the event. The report will be available online on the day of the event.
The Fabian Society partnered with the Countryside Alliance for this project. As with all Fabian projects, the Society retained full editorial control.
Online registration is not available for this event


Sue Hayman MP

Sue Hayman is MP for Workington and shadow secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs.


David Drew MP

Dr David Drew is Labour MP for Stroud. He represented the seat from 1997 to 2010 before being reelected in the 2017 general election.


Lisa Nandy MP

Lisa Nandy is the Labour MP for  Wigan and shadow foreign secretary


Ruth Davis

Ruth Davis is a writer and campaigner on nature and the common good. She is also the deputy director of global programmes at RSPB. She was previously a political adviser to Greenpeace UK.


Liam Stokes

Liam Stokes is a Labour activist and head of shooting at the Countryside Alliance.


Tobias Phibbs

Tobias Phibbs is a researcher at the Fabian Society.

Fabian membership

Join the Fabian Society today and help shape the future of the left

You’ll receive the quarterly Fabian Review and at least four reports or pamphlets each year sent to your door

Be a part of the debate at Fabian conferences and events and join one of our network of local Fabian societies

Join the Fabian Society
Fabian Society

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.