I am honoured that the voters of Houghton and Sunderland South put their trust in me again. But I know from countless conversations on the doorstep that too many lifelong voters felt badly let down by Labour, and could not support us.
We must now seek to re-build, select a new leader of our party who can earn the trust of voters in Sunderland, and right across our country.
I’m backing Keir Starmer because I believe he’s got what it takes to win.
To win back voters Labour lost in the last general election. The communities that Labour has represented for generations – like Blyth Valley, Bishop Auckland and Sedgefield.
But more importantly – he’s got what it takes to win over voters in constituencies we need to form a government.
My constituents need more than just a Labour MP fighting for them in Parliament – they need a Labour government transforming our country for the better.
The stakes couldn’t be higher in this leadership contest. If we get this wrong, I fear for the very future of our party.
Now, more than ever we need an effective and credible Labour Party to hold the government to account. There are thousands of people sleeping on the streets. Far too many families are relying on food banks. The number of children living in avoidable poverty is set to rise to more than five million in the next two years. And time is slipping away to confront the climate crisis.
Our new leader needs to be a Prime Minister in waiting, and I believe that Keir has demonstrated in Parliament that he has got what it takes. He served as Director of Public Prosecutions, and he’s proved beyond doubt that he is someone of integrity and real ability
Keir believes in our country and recognises that Labour is at its best when we look to the future. When we confront the challenges to see how we can build a better tomorrow.
I believe with Keir Starmer as our leader we can do just that, and I would encourage anyone who wants to see Labour re-built as an effective force for good in our society to join Labour and support him.
Bridget’s article was first published in the Sunderland Echo