The General Election is finally over.
I would like to thank Hartlepool for returning me as its Member of Parliament.
I pledge to put the case for a return of hospital services at every opportunity.
It is a huge honour for anyone to sit in the House of Commons as an area’s parliamentary representative.
This honour is massively increased when you are elected to sit in Parliament for your home town.
I feel very blessed in coming from Hartlepool, a town I love dearly.
Thank you for allowing me to serve Hartlepool in Parliament.
I’d also like to pay tribute to the other candidates who stood for election.
Putting yourself forward for scrutiny and public criticism is never easy, something made even more difficult for some candidates who didn’t live in the town and who had to put their normal lives on hold for its duration, but in the main the campaign was conducted in a relatively respectful manner.
I wish other candidates well for the future.
Nationally, I think the result was extremely disappointing.
I’m one of only 232 Labour MPs in the House of Commons, one in which David Cameron has a majority of seats.
The Prime Minister has pulled off an extremely unexpected victory, the first Conservative majority since 1992. I worry about the impact that such a victory will have on towns in the North such as ours, which have been neglected and ignored.
My job is to stand up for the town in Parliament, putting Hartlepool’s case to the Government, and with my re-election I shall make this a renewed priority.
I have always strived to be a hardworking and diligent constituency MP, taking up individual cases on behalf of the people of Hartlepool.
That is a central element of my role as the town’s MP and will continue.
I want to provide a professional service for people and ensure that constituents are able to contact me quickly and receive a considered response.
Another priority for me is the future shape of Hartlepool’s economy.
The town will prosper and thrive if we have good quality, highly-skilled and well-paid jobs.
Manufacturing and engineering should form the backbone of a resourceful and versatile local economy, and I will seek every opportunity to ensure that potential for the town is realised.
Central to my work in this upcoming parliament is the issue of health and hospital services for the town.
It was made clear to me during the General Election campaign, if such clarity were needed, that the election was essentially a referendum on the hospital, and that the people of Hartlepool want to see services returned to the town.
I’m not going to pretend it will be easy or immediate, and the task is made more difficult by the fact that we have a Tory Government, which has neglected this issue and has pledged to put more NHS services out to the private sector, but I pledge to put the case for a return of hospital services at every opportunity.
I will work with the Clinical Commissioning Group, which purchases NHS services for the area, and Hartlepool Borough Council to insist that services are safe but also delivered locally. I will also press the matter in Parliament with health ministers.
Thank you again to the people of Hartlepool for allowing me to serve the town in Parliament. I’ve never lost sight of the fact that it is a huge honour.
I reiterate my pledge to work hard for Hartlepool.