I was opposed to this leadership election from the start.
Jeremy was first elected just a year ago with massive support right across the Labour and trade union movement. He was given a strong mandate to lead the Party and he should have been allowed to get on with that job.
In my view, after the shock Brexit result, our Party needed to make the strongest possible case for the best deal for Britain. Instead, because of all the fuss about a leadership election, we let the Tories off the hook for getting us into this mess in the first place.
I have found the leadership election deeply depressing and upsetting at times – some of the language and commentary, particularly on social media, has been absolutely appalling. We should all condemn racism, anti-semitism and misogyny as having no place in our Party.
The one good thing about the leadership election has been that we have begun to flesh out the policies which we will put to the British public at the next General Election. Jeremy can do great things as our Leader and that’s why I am very happy to support him.
Our plans to bring back Educational Maintenance Allowances and maintenance grants for university students, instead of Tory loans, show what a radical Labour manifesto can look like.
I hope that once the Leadership election is over, we can finally get on with the business of taking the Tories to task and taking the fight to them. That’s when we will see Labour at our best – being an effective opposition, rather than looking inwards.
We must come together as a united Party, bringing together all parts of the Labour family and ensuring that our mass membership can play an active campaigning role in reaching out to the British people.
I particularly want to see us exposing Tory plans to bring back grammar schools, the awful cuts in SureStart provision – one of Labour’s great achievements – and the crippling debts that we are saddling students with.
It is time now for us to raise our game and take on the Tories in the run-up to the next General Election.
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