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After being urged and supported by my Gorton family and comrades, I have submitted my name to the Labour Party for consideration to become the next Member of Parliament for Gorton.
I’m from Gorton, and was born and brought up in Abbey Hey.
I was christened at Brookfield Church on Hyde Road in Gorton, and went to school at Abbey Hey Primary School and Wright Robinson High School. My family, going back to my great-great-grandmothers, Florence and Ada (single mothers who brought up their daughters alone and in dire poverty) are buried in Gorton Cemetery in a paupers' grave. I have had a stone put on their grave after tracing them through the Friends of Gorton Cemetery group, which I helped to found. I live in Abbey Hey, as I have for the last 30 years. It's where I brought up my children and now my grandsons.
This area is my community, my neighbours are my friends and family, it is my home. This constituency, in all its diversity, needs a local candidate who can represent all of our people in the same way as Gerald did. I know all the councillors in Gorton constituency as they are my friends and comrades over many years.
Over the last twenty years, I've campaigned across Britain. From the streets of Manchester to the Lake District, from the estates of Crewe to the Lancashire seaside, to Stoke on Trent. But mostly over those twenty years I have campaigned in Gorton. After fighting for five years I finally took the seat of Gorton South. I then campaigned for my comrades to get all of Gorton North and South, Levenshulme, Longsight, Rusholme, Fallowfield and Whalley Range to be Labour. Gorton people are my people. They are strong and proud and increasingly more likely to be suffering from the vicious cuts of the Tory government. Everywhere, our people and families are facing brutal attacks on their jobs, their services, and our way of life.
Against crushing Tory austerity, our party needs to stand firmly by our people. With our mass membership of 600,000 people, we need to rebuild Labour as an organisation rooted in every street, every neighbourhood and every workplace - a party of the community that everyone can turn to and rely upon.
No one can fill Gerald’s big shoes; he was my personal friend and mentor for many years. But I hope the people of Gorton North and Abbey Hey, Gorton South and Rusholme, Longsight and Levenshulme, Fallowfield and Whalley Range will give me the consideration of choosing me as their prospective Labour candidate to represent Gorton.
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