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The Leadership Election

29 Aug , 2016  

Several people have asked how I intend to vote in the forthcoming Leadership elections. I would like to take this opportunity to clarify my position on this. Last year I did not vote for Jeremy Corbyn and I was very open with him about this. However, once he was elected I served him loyally. In Burnley I have promoted him on doorsteps and I welcomed him to Burnley on May Day and I was pleased to do so. In Parliament I accepted a job in the Shadow Treasury and have worked very hard on behalf of Jeremy’s team. I played no part in the ‘coup` and in fact I was one of the 40 MPs who voted against the vote of no confidence. I have in fact done everything that I possibly could have to support Jeremy’s leadership because he is beyond doubt a thoroughly decent man and I have enjoyed a mutually respectful relationship with him. For this reason I did not down tools when many others did. Even when my boss resigned and I found myself a redundant PPS I continued to work for the team. I now find myself in a situation not of my making but one which I must deal with. We are where we are and it is a fact that Jeremy’s position in parliament is totally unworkable. Forced into a leadership contest that I did not want, I return to the fact that my driving passion is to work to deliver a Labour Government for all the people in Burnley and Britain who so desperately need it. That is more important than any individual and is my priority in this leadership election. Sadly, I know in my heart of hearts, having worked closely with him, that Jeremy is not the best person for the job and therefore I shall be casting my vote in favour of Owen Smith. Throughout this period of uncertainty I will continue to work hard to serve the people of Burnley and Padiham to the very best of my ability and the essential Labour values of fairness, equality and justice for all will be at the heart of all my work.

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