Emma Lewell-Buck: Tory government gambled and lost

Labour's Emma Lewell-Buck regains her South Shields seat.
Labour's Emma Lewell-Buck regains her South Shields seat.

At the beginning of the General Election the majority of the press believed that Labour’s core voters would desert us and Theresa May would waltz back into Downing Street with a blank cheque to do anything she liked.

It is now clear that this could not be further from the truth. The Prime Minister is being described even by those in her own party as a “dead woman walking”.

In calling the General Election and the Referendum on Europe, the Tories unnecessarily gambled around £300 million of public money purely for party political gain. They cynically put their own interests before the national interest and lost the bet. Theresa May put her cards on the table as the strong and stable leader the country needs to negotiate in Brussels and is now a busted flush. She has made Britain a laughing stock.

Worse still, just to hold onto power, Theresa May has formed an alliance with the DUP, a party with very dubious policies on creationism, climate change, gay rights and women’s rights. The alliance jeopardises the UK government’s crucial role as an “honest broker” in Northern Ireland and risks the hard earned yet fragile peace process.

With great irony, Theresa May’s words during the election campaign have now come back to haunt her for it is she who presides over a weak and unstable coalition of chaos.

Both the Brexit deal and the alliance with the DUP could collapse at any time. What the country needs now is the whole Government to do its job in the interests of the people. Only Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour is realistically offering this.

I am so proud that the people of South Shields rejected the politics of personal attacks and division and instead voted for a chance for change, for hope and for a better future. I am truly grateful to everyone who turned out to vote. It is an honour to serve you, represent your views in Parliament and fight for a better deal for all of us.

Despite gaining seats and damaging the Tory majority, Labour did not win but I am proud to have campaigned on a truly bold and transformative manifesto that proves that there can be a different way, a better way for all of us, a truly progressive manifesto rooted in fairness, justice and values.

In Opposition I will uphold these values and I will continue to put the interests of every resident of Shields first on the issues that really matter to our community. I will continue to fight against austerity and a Brexit that threatens jobs and living standards. I will continue the fight to keep vital services at our hospital and to ensure all our schools are properly funded. I will continue to fight this government on their reckless and ill-thought through policies that inevitably punish the poor and favour the rich. I will fight for a Labour victory in the next General Election which could be a lot sooner than we think.