Now I have had the honor of taking up a role in Labour’s Shadow Leveling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) team as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Shadow Deputy Prime Minister Angela Rayner.
It is a privilege to be asked to join the Shadow LUHC and be a strong voice for the North East at a time when the Conservatives’ promise to take our region “to a higher level” is seen as an empty slogan was hollowed out.
When I talk to people in our region about the rise, they usually roll their eyes. But when they see their old, unreliable transportation network, their salary shrinking, or their tax bill increasing year after year and they’re paying more for less, who can honestly blame them?
The rise of the conservatives did not happen. A small pot of funding here and a feasibility study for the project there. Constant promises of jam tomorrow as poverty rises and people in County Durham are left further behind.
The government announced twelve “level-up missions” but has not shown how it will achieve them in the two years since.
It is a political failure that under Rishi Sunak’s leadership, promotion has been relegated to a secondary concern.
Meanwhile, the diverse potential of our region continues to remain unused. We have a rich industrial heritage that once placed us at the heart of the industrial revolution, but we are now being held back from being at the forefront of the green industrial revolution. All because of a Conservative minister who refuses to provide the leadership we need to make Britain a clean energy superpower, cutting bills, creating thousands of good jobs and ensuring energy security.
I know our northern communities are crying out for change. They cannot afford another five months of Tory rule, let alone five more years.
So where the Tories have failed, Labor will deliver.
Good jobs and a secure home are the foundations for a successful life. a strong economy and resilient local communities.
With question marks over long-promised infrastructure, housing collapses and stagnant wages in the north, the government’s agenda is a sham.
A slogan alone is not enough to pay fair wages. You cannot build safe houses with false promises. And one small comment will not empower local people and local communities to take control of their future.
If Labor wants to rise from the ground up, that means supporting the place I am proud to call home – a place that has been neglected by this government for almost 14 years.
With Labor we will give the state the active role our economy needs and repair Britain’s broken labor market with a New Deal for working people.
We will pass a Take Back Control Act to move decision-making power on issues such as transport and childcare out of Westminster and closer to local people. And we’re giving businesses the confidence they need to invest in our infrastructure and our people, with a new National Wealth Fund and a mission to have cheaper, zero-carbon electricity by 2030.
In the North East, the National Wealth Fund will invest in thousands more jobs, industrial decarbonisation in Teesside, port upgrades, new electric vehicle battery plants, insulation for 700,000 homes and hundreds of local energy projects.
For the Labor Party, we do not view investing in communities in the North East as an act of charity.
Rather, we see it as an opportunity to unleash the potential of our entire country. Real growth means that it benefits all people in all places and provides decent jobs, safe housing and educational opportunities for all. I am proud to do my part.
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