Following the General Election, we have a stronger Labour voice across Merseyside, with Labour MP Margaret Greenwood defeating Tory minister Esther McVey and all Liverpool MPs returning with increased majorities.
There is, though, no hiding the fact that Labour had a terrible election result nationally.
I share people’s frustrations and fears about what the next five years of Tory rule will do to our community, our city and our country.
Labour must rebuild. That rebuilding is underway with our leadership contest. I am supporting Andy Burnham, the MP for Leigh, to be the next leader of the Labour Party.
Andy is the Shadow Health Secretary and I know from working closely with him as Shadow Public Health Minister that he has excellent leadership qualities. Andy will harness the huge talents that exist across the party, challenge Tory failings and enthuse voters with a vision of a 21st century country that puts people first.
We need a leader who can reconnect with all of the voters who felt Labour was not for them, and a party that says to people from all walks of life: ‘Labour is on your side and wants to help you get on.’ I believe that Andy is that leader.
This leadership election will be the most open and engaging in the party’s history. All the candidates will appear at hustings in every part of the country between now and August 14 when voting begins. The debates will be open to the public and some will be televised so that every candidate is fully tested.
Voting is open to all party members, affiliated supporters and registered supporters who, for as little as £3, join before August 12.
You can become a Labour Party member by clicking here.
Affiliated supporters are people who’ve signed up as a Labour Party supporter through one of our affiliated organisations or unions. You can become an affiliated supporter by clicking here.
Registered supporters are people who show their support for the Labour Party by signing up online and paying a one-off minimum fee of £3. You can become a registered supporter by clicking here.
Already, over 30,000 people have joined the party since the election and many more people are now registering as supporters. I would love to see as many people as possible take part in the leadership election campaign.
In this way, whoever emerges as the next leader of the Labour Party will have the broadest popular mandate possible to take the fight to the Tories and make sure that, at the next General Election, our local victories will be part of a national movement that returns a Labour government.