Executive Committee Biographies

Colin Bastin (Chair)

Colin Bastin has always believed in peace, since marching to and from Aldermaston to visiting New York on a Co-op delegation for the UN Special Session on Disarmament.  He has also represented the London Co-operative Party at the first anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Derry.  Standing for Parliament in High Wycombe and Harrow West, he was proud to speak on the same platforms as Tony Benn, Bruce Kent and Ken Cameron.

Since becoming LAP Chair in 2009, Colin has been developing contacts with LAP members and the public, though speaking at Peace meetings and stewarding the LAP stand at the Labour Party and NUT conferences; he’s maintained his commitment to peace.  Working with our new Organising Secretary, LAP is organising more member events and different ways to reach out to members and others with the peace message.

Ron Barden (Treasurer)

Ron is the long-time treasurer of LAP. He is a life-long member of the Labour Party interrupted by a period of disassociation over the Iraq war.  He was enrolled into membership by Ron Huzzard when he visited Northampton.

In his 20’s he was very involved in the Party – in the League of Youth, as a Borough Councillor, and Prospective Parliamentary Candidate.  Later a career in further education and having a family of four meant that his political activity was confined to attending meetings and helping at elections.

After retirement he became active in LAP as an organisation working for conflict resolution.

Chris Butler (Executive Committee Member)

Dr Chris Butler became active in the Peace Movement in 1961, just before the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Since then he has been involved in major demonstrations at Aldermaston, Fylingdales, Menwith Hill and Grosvenor Square, London. He stood for Labour in the 1987 General Election, mainly on a platform arguing for Unilateral Nuclear Disarmament. As well as Labour Action for Peace he is on the National Council of CND, Labour CND and as a Quaker on the Northern Friends Peace Board. He sits on committees looking at Trident Concerns, Sustainable Security and Arms Conversion. He was a member of the World Peace Council where he met Jeremy Corbyn and the Rev Jesse Jackson. As a doctor he firmly believes nuclear weapons are not good for your health!

John Courtneidge (Executive Committee Member)


Frank Jackson (Executive Committee Member)

Frank Jackson is a retired engineer/physicist/physics teacher. An active member of the Labour Party for well over 60 years, Frank has always campaigned for the Party to be bold in putting forward a vision of a society based on co-operation, not rampant capitalism, as the only way to achieve lasting peace and prosperity for all. He was a member of Harlow District Council from 1966 to 1980, being Chair of the Council 1979-80.

Alongside his political activity, Frank has campaigned for peace and disarmament. He was a founder member of Wolverhampton and District Peace Council in1949/50 and has been active in the peace movement to a greater or lesser degree ever since. His retirement from Harlow Council coincided with the founding by Fenner Brockway and Philip Noel-Baker of the World Disarmament Campaign (WDC), and Frank made this the main focus of his peace work, especially later when he also retired from full-time employment. He is proud to have eventually followed in Fenner’s footsteps as Co-Chair of WDC. He was also editor of WDC’s journal World Disarm! for many years.  He represented WDC on a number of organisations, he attended the Hague Appeal for Peace Conference in 1999, organising WDC’s stand at that conference, and contributed to a number of other international  events.

Frank is also a member of Labour Action for Peace, Scientists for Global Responsibility, Abolition 2000 UK and CND among others. For a number of years he has organised a peace movement presence at the Labour Party conference, representing various groups, but most commonly LAP and WDC/UfP, with the general theme Make Labour the Peace Party, together with the topical issues of the day.

Most recently, Frank attended the UN conference in New York which resulted in a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, agreed by 122 votes to 1, with I abstention. He was the oldest participant in the conference.

Helen Watts (Organising Secretary)

Helen joined LAP as a part-time Organising Secretary in March 2016. Her role is to support the Executive Committee of LAP, develop the membership base, and contribute to the development of LAP’s activities including the Annual Peace Lecture, LAP stall at the Labour Party Conference, the LAP Annual General Meeting and Regional Events.

Helen has been a member of International Voluntary Service since the early 1980s, part of Service Civil International, a peace organisation established by the Swiss pacifist Pierre Ceresole. She has over 25 years’ experience working alongside refugees and migrants, mostly in east London. With over a million others, she marched against the Iraq war in 2003. Nowadays she is active in promoting human rights and raising awareness about those living under occupation in Palestine, by volunteering with the Palestine Museum and Cultural Centre in Bristol, where she is the treasurer.