Stephen Hepburn MP: How things have changed since last year's election announcement
How time flies when it was this time last year that Labour was giving the Tories a bloody nose.
Just over a year ago an arrogant Theresa May gambled on an early General Election and instead of wiping us out we wiped out her majority.
In place of the falsely promised strong and stable leadership we exposed a weak and wobbly pathetic figure who couldn’t negotiate her way out of WH Smith on King Street.
To take the country for granted, as May contemptuously did, is a mistake Jeremy Corbyn will never forget.
He loves meeting people and campaigning, enjoying dozens of conversations every week and meeting as many in as many places as he can.
It’s why Jeremy’s the selfie king, the most photographed politician in Britain. And happy crowds sing, ‘Oh, Je-rem-y Cor-byn’.
Theresa May? She was hidden away in the election, unveiled only for vetted Tory loyalists. Today she’s no better, although security’s now a convenient excuse.
I make time for as many people as possible and as a local lad born and bred I love talking and helping them.
And it’s why I know people up here are crying out for a Labour Government on their side, Labour hope replacing Conservative despair.
The proof was in the Labour vote in the Jarrow Parliamentary constituency soaring 9.5% to a 17,263 majority which is 65.1% of everyone who voted, meaning two-in-every-three politically engaged people in my part of South Tyneside and Gateshead chose Labour.
We need to finish and get out of power a Tory Government propped up in the Bung Parliament by Northern Ireland Unionists, paying £1-billion of taxpayers’ money for their votes.
Over the last year we have had the worst-ever NHS performance, the highest levels of recorded crime in a decade, and confirmation that under the Tories working people will face the longest fall in living standards since records began.
At the same time fatal Tory divisions and incompetence over Brexit put jobs and the economy at risk.
Most people on Tyneside and the North of England know only a Labour Government would transform our economy and provide investment our hospitals and schools badly need.
Only a Labour government would offer a £10 an hour minimum wage, real jobs, decent schools, houses to buy and rent, social care to look after the elderly and the vulnerable, support for the disabled.
What we get from uncaring Tories is a kick in the teeth with an extra 300 per cent dumped on the scrapheap in South Tyneside – proud and decent people – relying on Foodbank charity to survive.
And only a Labour government would bring fairness, and decency, equality and solidarity.
Over the past 12 months we’ve worked so hard and come a long way to expose these brutal, callous, wicked Tories, who don’t give two hoots for you, me or anybody else in this area.
The fight goes on and I’ll leave no stone unturned until Labour is in power and we’re rid of this rotten Tory Government once and for all.