What Jarrow MP Kate Osborne said in her maiden speech to the House of Commons

Jarrow MP Kate Osborne vowed to fight for “equality and social justice” as she made her maiden speech in the House of Commons.

By Sarah Sinclair
Thursday, 6th February 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 4:45 pm

The Labour MP addressed parliament for the first time on Wednesday, February 4 during which she promised not to let her constituents down.

The former North Tyneside councillor, who was elected to represent Jarrow at the December 2019 election, said it was the “greatest honour of her life” before paying tribute to ex-MP Stephen Hepburn who served the constituency for 22 years.

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Jarrow MP Kate Osborne has made her maiden speech in the House of Commons.

Now she has pledged to defend the NHS, public services and “hard-won rights” while promising to tackle universal credit.

Ms Osborne used her speech to reflect on Jarrow’s “proud history” but highlighted that people in the region were still “living with the scars of Thatcherism”.

Speaking to the House, she said: “We now have food banks, high unemployment, poverty and struggle, but the people of Jarrow are resilient and proud of their history, community and working-class solidarity. They never give up and neither will I.”

She paid tribute to Jarrow’s first female MP, Red Ellen Wilkinson, who served from 1935-1947.

Ms Osborne said she was “filled with pride” to be the first woman elected since Ms Wilkinson and would follow in her footsteps to fight for young people to have an “education they deserve”.

She also pledged to continue the fight to save South Tyneside Hospital and for palliative care provision in Jarrow following the closure of St Clare’s, before raising the universal credit “catastrophe”.

Ms Osborne said: “I will not shirk one of the biggest battles still confronting us today, and that is against universal credit, a catastrophe that has had a cruel effect on our most vulnerable families."

She added: “In Jarrow, ​we understand what being a community really means… I will defend our public services, our NHS and our hard-won rights, and I will fight for equality and social justice – for a society in which nobody is left behind. To the people of Jarrow, I say: I won’t let you down.”