The General Election was a tale of two stories. Nationally we saw David Cameron walking back into Downing Street with a Conservative-majority Government, whilst locally here in Sunderland we saw the national trend bucked.
With the fantastic support of the council and the army of volunteers who helped on election night Sunderland was, for the sixth time, the first local authority to declare our results and on the night the people of Sunderland re-elected three Labour women on increased majorities and winning 24 out of the 25 council seats, including traditionally Tory seats like Fulwell and Barnes.
Sunderland’s results clearly show the strong relationship between our city and the Labour Party, with many local people feeling that the Tories are not working in their best interests, something I heard loud and clear while out on the doorstep during the election.
Though the Prime Minister has continued his empty rhetoric to support the North East, and has appointed a pseudo-Minister for the North, it is clear that our region will be over-looked for future investment opportunities and hit hardest by the austerity measures this Government has planned.
Not only is the Government’s austerity agenda determined to damage our region but the threat of an exit from the European Union will put many investment opportunities and jobs across our City at risk.
One such case is Nissan, a direct employer of nearly 6,700 and supports 26,800 jobs in the supply chain, who have previously stated a UK exit from the European Union would make them question staying here in the United Kingdom.
The coming weeks, months and years ahead will be an interesting time for politics and our country, yet I and my Labour colleagues, both here in Sunderland and Parliament, are committed to holding this Government to account so we can try to achieve the best outcomes for the people of Sunderland.