Last week I was privileged to travel to Brighton to attend the Labour Party Conference for the first time as MP for South Shields.
Sitting in the conference hall watching Ed Miliband deliver his speech made me immensely proud to be a member of our party, and proud to be a Labour MP.
The pledges Ed made proved that a Labour government will be on the side of all of us, and that it will make sure economic recovery works for the many and not just for the few.
David Cameron and George Osborne seem to believe that one or two quarters of positive growth mean the economy has turned around.
But people in Shields who have lost their jobs, seen their bills rise and public services disappear know the reality – recovery in Cameron’s Britain means recovery for the rich.
The Tories talk about wanting Britain to win the “global race”, but as Ed rightly pointed out, a race against countries where workers toil in sweatshops and live in appalling poverty is not a race that Britain can or should win.
The Tories want a race to the bottom, but Labour wants a race to the top, and a recovery that can be felt by ordinary people.
That’s why a Labour government would freeze household energy bills until 2017, helping the 4,200 households in South Shields living in fuel poverty.
It’s why Labour would repeal the hated ‘Bedroom Tax’, which costs more than 1,000 households in Shields an average of £624 a year, while doing nothing to solve the housing crisis.
Instead, Labour would build a million extra homes over five years nationwide, easing the burden on the housing supply and creating skilled jobs in the process.
And it’s why Labour would raise the national minimum wage to make work pay, compared to a Coalition Government which has seen real wages fall in all but one of the 39 months it has been in power.
Labour understands that a strong economy needs to be strong for everyone, and not just the few at the top.
I look forward to meeting local residents to talk about what a Labour government would mean for them, and to campaigning hard for a Labour victory in 2015.