It was a huge honour to be re-elected as Member of Parliament for Sunderland Central at the recent General Election.
I will continue, as I have for the past seven years, to be an active campaigning MP. I promise to always give our city a strong voice in Westminster, ensuring your voice is heard.
Sadly, the outcome of the General Election was not what any of us wanted; with another hung parliament and a minority Government led by the Conservatives.
This week we entered negotiations to start exiting the European Union – and already the weakness of this Government has been shown, by the priorities being set by EU needs and not UK needs.
This week, as well, we heard the Queens Speech, delayed from Monday to Wednesday – as Theresa May could not get agreement from the DUP in time.
Sadly, it was a missed opportunity, containing very little detail of what shape the Brexit negotiations will take.
Rest assured I will continue to ensure the Government understands what the priorities are for Sunderland; securing jobs reliant on the EU, whilst exploiting new trade opportunities.
We also need to ensure that strong transitional arrangements are in place for trade if no agreement is reached at the end of two years negotiations – sadly no mention of this at all in Wednesday’s speech.
The crisis we face in our public services, schools and NHS barely got a mention either.
The recent terrorist attacks have left our country facing a serious security situation. Our police do an amazing job, but are under constant pressure and need more resources to continue keeping us safe.
Schools, as well as our wonderful NHS, also need investment – rather than funding cuts. We need to give young people the best start in life, as well as to make sure the NHS is there to look after us all.
Please rest assured – I will fight our corner at every opportunity both now, and in the future.