My story


Let me tell you who I am, why I'm Labour and why I'm standing to be Deputy Leader.

My mum was a lone parent at 17; I never knew my real dad.

We never owned a home.

Twice in my teens I had to live away from home; the second time because of my mum's alcoholism -- an illness that would kill her.

Going to university was not my destiny. It was an escape.

By my mid-twenties I was on my own with two children under two. I know what it's like to be on benefits, to worry about money, to need a job, childcare and a secure roof over your head.

I know what it's like to need a Labour Government. 

Millions of people felt as devastated as we did when they saw the results come in on election night.

Our Labour Party exists to win elections to improve lives and make the world a better place.

To do so, we need support from all classes, all backgrounds, all corners of the country.

We will only reach out if Labour offers real community leadership -- a force for change -- especially where we do not have a Labour MP.

A grassroots movement -- not a Westminster elite.

The Deputy Leader has to support the next leader -- whoever they are -- to rebuild and win again.

I know our party from the grassroots up and I've campaigned in hundreds of constituencies since 2010 as a Shadow Cabinet member.

But we also need a Deputy Leader unafraid to go on the Today programme or Question Time, especially on difficult days.

Somebody ready to deputise for the Leader in the House of Commons at Prime Minister's Questions.

Most of all, we need somebody who both members and voters can connect with -- those many voters we need to win back.

I'm standing for Deputy Leader because, with over 30 years' experience in the Labour Party and as a trade unionist, I can help us win in 2020.

I lead by example. I'm a hands-on constituency MP, a doorstep and community campaigner, a creative policy maker, a Commons performer and someone who has fought our corner on TV and always put the Labour Party first.

I've fought many battles in my life. With your support, this is one we can win together for Labour.

So, are you with me?