After 6 weeks of campaigning in Leeds West and a long night in Leeds Town Hall, I am delighted and honoured to have been re-elected as your Labour Member of Parliament for Leeds West with 62% of the vote and a majority of 15,965. It is a privilege to continue to serve the constituency I love, representing the party I love.
Thank you – all of you – for making that happen. But most of all, thank you to Steve Harris my brilliant Election agent.
Our result, and Labour gains across the country, were a victory for hope over cynicism, schools and hospitals over austerity and for a more equal society over a more polarised one. Across the country people – and particularly young people – turned out and defied expectations with a result much closer than the pundits predicted and much closer than Theresa May had banked on.
I am proud of the campaign we ran here in Leeds West. Positive, local, upbeat and based on the local issues that people care about in our constituency.
It was a campaign that focused on schools, hospitals and our local public services and nationally, led by Jeremy Corbyn from the front, we offered a manifesto that provided hope for the many, not the few and a vision that was resolutely positive and optimistic.
It was also a campaign that was powered by hundreds of local volunteers. This result is your result too and I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
While these national events unfold over the coming weeks, it is now our responsibility, as the Labour Party and as the MP for Leeds West to continue to show a better way for our community and our country so that we can govern again and make our country the more equal, fairer and more confident place that we in the Labour Party are determined to build – free from the poverty, injustice and oppression that we see around us today. Five more years of Tory government will be a disaster for our NHS, young people and those struggling to get by, and so let’s start now in our campaign to elect a Labour government whenever the next election comes.
I hope you will join me in this task.
Once again, thank you.