STEPHEN HEPBURN: Election results show we are all in it together

David Townsley celebrates his election win
David Townsley celebrates his election win

Labour’s clean sweep on election night, winning all 18 South Tyneside seats up for grabs, is the community pulling together.

Even Cleadon Village, with its bigger houses and higher earners, went Labour with David Townsley defeating the last Tory standing, so all three councillors in the Cleadon and East Boldon area are now Labour.

That’s a wonderful tribute to my hardworking colleagues and the Labour Party nationally could learn from how here on Tyneside we unite the Haves, Have Nots and the few who Have Yachts.

Because it’s an incompetent, nasty Tory Government in London – only last week we forced them to abandon their stupid plans to force even outstanding schools to become academies.

Labour’s scoring big victories for working families and I was particularly delighted when the Conservatives were made to drop a cash grab on earners when we forced David Cameron and his chums to ditch tax credit cuts on the hard working!

Yet I accept we can’t rest on our laurels when the Cons are attacking on many fronts.

Chancer of the Exchequer George Osborne’s using the rolling of six benefits into Universal Credit, including help for people in work, to continue his war on working families.

Respected experts reckon 2.5 million families, including many in this area will be worse off by up to £3,000 a year.

The Tory trick is to do with Universal Credit what we stopped them doing with tax credits, but take a little longer and relying on no one noticing.

The people who will pay for the £12 billion welfare cut invented by Osborne at the election are mainly in work or are disabled.

Labour saved Personal Independence Payments (PIP) from the Treasury axeman with former Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, who masterminded six years of brutal welfare cuts, admitting the proposed £4.4bn PIP cut was the last straw even for him.

Tory cuts are making a mockery of David Cameron’s comical boast that the Tories are a party of the workers.

Last week’s local elections sent a clear message to David Cameron – we will not tolerate his Tory cuts and his relentless attacks on the vulnerable and working families.

We know that Cameron and the Tories will try to shut their ears and not listen, smug in their certain ignorance.

But I promise you Labour will continue to campaign right across the land to reverse unfair cuts to Universal Credit just as we did on tax credits and Personal Independence Payments.

And here on Tyneside we’ll fight hardest of all, encouraged that everybody – poor, working, disabled or doing very nicely – is with us. Thank you for voting Labour and showing at least we in this area believe we are all in it together!