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Stephen Hepburn MP: Voters embrace Labour’s optimism and reject Tory pessimism

The election count in South Tyneside.
The election count in South Tyneside.

Huge thanks to you all for the resounding local vote of confidence in the Labour Party.

The election of so many fantastic Labour councillors in South Tyneside and the Gateshead area covered by my Jarrow Parliamentary constituency was truly inspiring.

It proved we up here care about our families, neighbours and communities by embracing Labour’s optimism and rejecting the poisonous pessimism of the tired Tories.

Reproduce those local results across England in a national General Election and Jeremy Corbyn would be knocking on the door of No 10 to be Prime Minister with an incompetent Theresa May packing her bags.

So I predict a bright future for the common sense socialism of my party as we champion working people, hope, opportunities, fairness, decency, widespread prosperity and value high quality schools, hospitals and other public services.

Personally I’m very excited about a continuing partnership with re-elected and sitting councillors as well as working closely with newbies in the wards covered by the Jarrow Parliamentary constituency: the Bede ward, Boldon Colliery, Cleadon & East Boldon, Fellgate & Hedworth, Hebburn North & South, Monkton, Primrose, Pelaw & Heworth and Wardley & Leam Lane.

We came tantalisingly close to a clean sweep on South Tyneside Council and the bitter disappointment of losing a Cleadon and East Boldon seat was offset by the fantastic result in winning back a seat in the Bede ward and welcoming wonderful local lad Steve Dean to the Council chamber for the first time, where I know he will work tirelessly and be a strong voice for the people he represents.

We’ve a lot to do when Tory cuts make the work of the council harder with the Tories cutting 50% of South Tyneside Council’s and Gateshead Council’s grant since 2010 – straining social services, damaging schools and, as you all know, representing a deadly virus infecting the National Health Service and South Tyneside Hospital.

Jeremy Corbyn’s transformative vision for Britain promises the boldest, most radical Labour Government since Clement Attlee’s administration in 1945 created our NHS, formed our welfare state, created jobs the brave lads who fought in the war needed, took our industries such as rail back into public hands and built decent social housing while raising the living standards of a generation.

Now we fight for a £10 an hour minimum wage, real jobs not insecure zero hours twaddle, schools properly funded, social housing to fix the housing crisis spiralling under Tory neglect, a social care system to look after the elderly and vulnerable centred around dignity and respect, a Brexit that won’t bring on a nuclear winter for working class people and a National Health Service free from privateers and public to its core.

Labour’s taking the fight to the retreating Tories and its great so many of you are on our side. I’m in it to win it and I won’t rest until we replace the rotten Tory mob in London with a Labour Government on your side, proud to put our superior values into practice to build a Britain for everyone.

Bring it on!