I would like to start by thanking the people of Sunderland Central for once again putting your trust in me, and giving me the great honour of serving as your Member of Parliament.
Sunderland is my home city and I love it dearly. What matters to you matters to me, and I will always stand up for Sunderland in Westminster.
Whilst Labour enjoyed great success in Sunderland and the North East, the Tories now have an overall majority in the House of Commons, and will have the opportunity to fully implement their manifesto.
Yesterday, during the State Opening of Parliament and Queen’s Speech, we saw where the Conservatives’ priorities really lie, what their values are, and who they seek to represent.
Sunderland needed a Queen’s Speech that would put the needs and desires of working people first, that would transform this slow economic recovery into one that benefits not just London, but Sunderland and the North East too. Instead, we have a Government obsessed with withdrawal from the European Union, upon which 160,000 jobs in the North East depend. A Government more interested in reversing the fox hunting ban than it is on materially improving the lives of people.
When I was first elected in 2010, I said I would be a campaigning MP and I hope I have demonstrated that is exactly what I have been, whether campaigning on zero-hours contracts or most recently in helping to save our central fire station, and I will continue to be so.
Sunderland deserved better than what we woke up to on May 8.
I will continue to do my bit to help secure a better future for our city, in the face of whatever challenges five years of majority Tory rule might bring to our city.