Labour Party Manifesto 2019 – Culture, Media & Digital

It’s time for Real Change

Labour Party Manifesto 2019

This election will shape our country for a generation. It is your opportunity to transform our country, so that it works not just for a few, but for all of us. It is a chance to deliver the real change Britain needs. This manifesto sets out how a Labour government will do that.


Britain’s thriving arts, culture and creative industries drive investments and encourage tourism.

  • A Labour government will open up career opportunities in these industries for everyone and consult on ways to address the gender imbalance in the digital creative industries.
  • We will introduce an Arts Pupil Premium to every primary school in England – a £160 million annual boost for schools to ensure creative and arts education is embedded in secondary education, and providing a pathway to grow our thriving creative sector.
  • We will invest in the towns and communities neglected for too long, with a £1 billion Cultural Capital Fund to transform libraries, museums and galleries across the country.
  • We will make the distribution of National Lottery funding more transparent to help communities get their fair share of project funding.
  • We will maintain free entry to museums, because everyone should have access to our shared heritage.
  • Building on the success of the UK City of Culture, we will launch a Town of Culture competition.
  • We will work with trade unions and employers to make creative jobs accessible for all, ensuring diversity in these industries so that everyone sees themselves represented on screen and on stage.
  • We will review the copyright framework to ensure fair remuneration for artists and content creators.


  •  A Labour government will ensure a healthy future for all our public service broadcasters, including BBC Alba and S4C.
  • We will protect free TV licences for over-75s.A free and fair press is vital to protecting democracy and holding the powerful to account.
  • We will address misconduct and the unresolved failures of corporate governance raised by the second stage of the abandoned Leveson Inquiry.
  • We will take steps to ensure that Ofcom is better able to safeguard a healthy plurality of media ownership and to put in place clearer rules on who is fit and proper to own or run TV and radio stations.
  • We will take action to address the monopolistic hold the tech giants have on advertising revenues and will support vital local newspapers and media outlets.
  • We will consult media-sector workers and trade unions to establish an inquiry into the ‘fake news’ undermining trust in media, democracy and public debate, and on a legal right of public interest defence for journalists


Digital and technological advancements bring challenges, but also huge opportunities. In the age of AI and automation, digital connectivity will underpin our future economy. We will need world-class digital infrastructure in which everyone can share.

  • Labour will deliver free full-fibre broadband to all by 2030.We will establish British Broadband, with two arms: British Digital Infrastructure (BDI) and the British Broadband Service (BBS).
  • We will bring the broadband-relevant parts of BT into public ownership, with a jobs guarantee for all workers in existing broadband infrastructure and retail broadband work. BDI will roll out the remaining 90–92% of the full-fibre network, and acquire necessary access rights to existing assets.
  • BBS will coordinate the delivery of free broadband in tranches as the full-fibre network is rolled out, beginning with the communities worst served by existing broadband networks.
  • Taxation of multinationals, including tech giants, will pay for the operating costs of the public full-fibre network.
  • The plan will boost jobs, tackle regional inequality and improve quality of life as part of a mission to connect the country.
  • We will enforce a legal duty of care to protect our children online, impose fines on companies that fail on online abuse and empower the public with a Charter of Digital Rights.

Equity’s manifesto for a balanced and sustainable arts & culture industry

Equity’s manifesto for a balanced and sustainable arts & culture industry


Imagine a world without decent health provision and education, without efficient public transport or care for the old. This prospect is materialising before our eyes in this new age of austerity. Now imagine a world without television drama, film, concerts, recordings, art galleries or theatre, variety entertainment, opera and ballet. Just as the NHS, schools and all our public services are suffering, so our everyday world of cultural experience is being diminished and devalued. We need food, shelter and transport to survive. We need good health and education. Equally, we need the human experience and enlightenment, entertainment and sheer fun provided by imaginative and creative inspiration and expression.

Creativity and culture are not an add-on, a surplus luxury we can only afford when other needs of social life have been dealt with. We experience cultural life individually and collectively every minute of our work and leisure, whether through music, art and photography, dance, theatre, TV, film or video games. The arts run through our lives like a grain through wood characterising and strengthening us.

It is these experiences that give the arts a unique, vital and intrinsic value for us, something irreplaceable by anything else. More than this, they help us to get our bearings in the world and to understand and critique society in ways that factual information cannot because they address not just our intellectual understanding but our whole humanity, our emotions, aspirations, visions of a future, our collective human spirit, compassion and drive to make life better. Take this away and you diminish the whole of society and what’s best in us.

We also see the value of cultural activities spread into other areas where they have an instrumental and powerful effect, as will be indicated throughout this document, for example:

  • for social inclusion, enrichment of life quality and local regeneration
  • for physical and mental health
  • for enhancing education and learning ability
  • for the economy
  • for tourism
  • for engaging young people and creating confidence and motivation
  • for skills creation and transferability and increasing employment chances
  • for national reputation

Equity’s arts policy aims to promote sustainable, optimistic and fulfilling careers for our members and other arts workers within a valued and equitable arts and entertainment industry that serves a wide and inclusive audience.

To achieve this, a radical overhaul of UK arts and culture is needed.

The aims we set out must inform future campaigning, both in the short and long-term. We recognise that many of our policies below will take time, effort, vision and determination and that we need to engage with organisations outside the union – other trades unions, political parties, local authorities and central government, arts organisations, audiences, theatre and media managements, and funders – in ongoing joint campaigning on a number of fronts.

We will promote

  1. Increased public funding and ownership by central and local government to ensure the expansion of the performing arts with greater employment on a living wage.
  2. Fully inclusive representation and access for all practitioners and audiences, widening the audience, and restoring and extending arts education.
  3. An equitable balance of funding, without cuts to established areas, through a restructured national, regional and local funding system, and the establishment of more inclusive artistically and  socially based criteria for funding.
  4. Creative leadership, and accountability of funding bodies to practitioners, trades unions and audiences.
  5. Recognition of Variety, circus and all entertainment disciplines as art forms, establishment of new venues and recruitment of young entertainers.
  6. Protection and enhancement of public service broadcasting and UK film production and the creation of a publicly owned and financed film producing sector.

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