Shadow Health Secretary says Hartlepool has given Labour a 'kicking' - but the party still has something 'positive' to offer on the cost of living and NHS waiting times

The Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care says Labour has ‘listened and changed’ following its defeat in last year’s by-election and has ‘positive policies’ to offer.

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting visited Hartlepool on Saturday (March 19) for a trip around the town to talk to families as part of the party’s campaign ahead of elections in May.

The MP says Labour wants to ‘rebuild trust’ with residents across Hartlepool and work on issues that ‘really mean something’.

Following Labour’s defeat at Hartlepool’s by-election in May last year, which broke the party’s 57-year Parliamentary reign over the town, Mr Streeting says the party ‘isn’t taking anyone for granted’.

(L to R) Hartlepool Councillor Brenda Harrison alongside Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting and Councillor Jonathan Brash.

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He said: “I hope the people in Hartlepool have noticed they’ve given the Labour Party a kicking in recent elections, but we’ve listened and we’ve changed.

"And you can see that change locally as well in terms of the Labour group, the leadership, the council candidates that are putting themselves forward in May - these are people that really care about this town and bring a wealth of experience and I think could make a real difference to Hartlepool.”

Mr Streeting also says the party wants to work on supporting jobs, the local economy and businesses, as well as tackling issues such as crime, anti-social behaviour, NHS waiting times and costs of living.

He added: “We’re campaigning on issues that really matter to people and we’ve got positive policies to offer.

"Take cost of living for example, people are seeing their energy bills go through the roof, families are struggling with food prices and we’ve said that we will fund a scheme to help people with their energy bills but putting £400 back into the pockets of families.

"Hospital waiting times are at a record high and we have huge NHS staff shortages.

"If Labour had stayed in Government after 2010 there would have been a brand new hospital serving the people of Hartlepool and the Tories knocked it on the head.

"There’s a lot of scores for the Labour party to settle round here and we’re determined to win Hartlepool back.”

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