Stephen Hepburn: Labour is on the rise and we have shown the party how to win
Thank you to everybody who voted for me in the General Election and it is a huge boost that so many put your faith in the Labour Party in the Jarrow constituency, which covers not only Jarrow, but Hebburn, Boldon, Cleadon and East Boldon, as well as Pelaw, Heworth, Wardley and Leam Lane in Gateshead.
The significantly increased local majority of 17,263 was up 9.5% and the 65.1% share of all the votes cast means two-in-every-three politically engaged people in my part of South Tyneside and Gateshead chose Labour.
The Jarrow constituency boasts the largest Labour majority in the north east and every vote counted towards the record rise in the party’s total.
It’s an enormous honour to be elected to represent folk for the sixth time in Parliament and I pledge to represent you all.
The election was called by Theresa May hoping to crush the Labour Party and in an attempt to gain a massive Conservative majority, but Labour put together a fantastic campaign and a manifesto of hope, fairness for the many not the few, and an end to crushing austerity.
Labour’s enlarged majority here in the Jarrow constituency and our party winning traditionally Tory seats such as Kensington in London, where the Conservative council has serious questions to answer about the Grenfell Tower inferno, and Canterbury in Kent was a nation saying ‘enough is enough’.
People are fed up with Tory cuts to public services, NHS under-funding, caning schools and denying young people the chances they deserve and the elderly the respect they’re entitled to.
May was found out by voters she took for granted and Tory incompetency, nasty smears, outright lies and U-turns cost her dear and it’s a matter of when not if she’s sacked.
Our vision for Britain was one of transformation of our economy and investment in hospitals and schools. We defied the critics who said we would never get a hearing for these sorts of policies.
We could be on the verge of something historic with a Jeremy Corbyn who people love when they see the real man, not the distorted caricature of the Tory media. Unlike others in the Labour Party, I maintained my faith in Jeremy and I gave him my full support as our party leader.
This is the boldest, most radical Labour government in waiting since Clement Attlee’s administration in 1945 created our NHS, formed the modern welfare state, created jobs, nationalised industries and built houses.
So the fight back starts now and I give you my word as your re-elected Labour MP that I will fight for everybody, regardless of their income and wealth.
The fight goes on for a £10 an hour minimum wage, real jobs, respect at work, decent schools, houses to buy and rent, social care to look after the elderly and vulnerable, saving the winter fuel allowance for pensioners, support for the disabled who are kicked in the teeth by uncaring Tories, a Brexit good for working people and an NHS fit to look after us all.
Labour’s values are as terrific and relevant as ever – fairness, decency, sharing prosperity, community, leaving nobody behind, equality, celebrating success while caring for everybody, fraternity, liberty and solidarity.
We’ll fight even harder for you all and what we believe in, not giving an inch to May-hem’s Con-servative Party.
So I’m humbled and privileged to represent the area I was born in, bred in, live in and adore with all my heart.
Let me finish by saying this to May and the Cons: stay worried because the great people of the Jarrow constituency and many other parts of the country are standing proud, strong and defiant against you.
Labour is on the rise and in this area we have shown our party how to win. The hard work restarts now to get rid of this rotten Government once and for all.