The column you are now reading is not the one I wrote on Monday afternoon. After the Prime Minister announced a snap General Election I had to rip the original one up and start again!
It’s frustrating that we have another election as it’s only two years since the last one, and we were asked to have our say about Brexit only a year ago.
Given we have major Brexit negotiations underway, you would have thought that would have been the Prime Minister’s top priority, not an unnecessary election.
I believe we owe it to Sunderland’s young people to get a deal from the Brexit negotiations that will work for them and support them to thrive as they grow up, enter the world of work, look to get on in life and raise their families.
I had started a programme of coffee mornings about the Brexit negotiations around the constituency.
I wanted to keep everyone informed about Brexit talks, and also to know your views so that I can fight for a deal that is both in Sunderland’s best interests and reflects the wishes of the people who live here.
I may be forced to put them on hold now that we have an election, but I still want to hear your views on Brexit priorities, so do get in touch.
I have lived in Sunderland all my life and, growing up, my family worked in our shipyards and mines. I raised my four children here and my young grandchildren are now growing up here too. So, I share your hopes for our city’s future as well as your concerns about some of the challenges we face.
Sunderland has a special place in my heart, which is why I am so proud of our industrial and cultural heritage and unashamedly ambitious for our future.