I want to say how grateful I am to have been chosen to represent South Shields once again as your Member of Parliament.
It means so much to me that voters in the town have chosen to put their trust in me, and I want to repay that trust by battling every day to make life better for people.
I would like to thank everybody who voted for me, of course, but I would also like to thank everyone who took the time to speak on the doorstep, who came to election hustings or stopped to talk to me in the street during the campaign.
I am not just the MP for the people who voted for me, but for everybody in South Shields.
I really valued the thousands of conversations I have had with people over the election campaign – including those who did not vote for me and those who did not vote at all. The election might be over, but I will not stop listening.
I want to have many more of those conversations over the years to come.
During my two years as MP, I have always made sure the voices of real people are heard at the highest level, and I want to continue to do so.
If there is an issue you want to be taken up, either in Parliament or locally, please contact me or come to one of my regular surgeries.
I will always be there to listen and to help constituents who need it.
Obviously, the national result was not the one I and many readers will have hoped for.
I am convinced that if the Labour Party were in government today, rather than the Conservatives, the next five years would be looking a lot brighter for our country.
But sadly many people did not agree, so part of Labour’s job over the coming years will be to work even harder to convince people that we have the right plan for Britain.
With Labour again in the minority in the House of Commons, we will also have to fight against the Tories’ plans for even deeper cuts, more attacks on public services and the threat to our NHS.
The fight will be tough, but you should expect nothing less than absolute dedication from your local MP, and that is the standard I will hold myself to.