It is four years since I was elected to serve our community in the 2015 general election. Labour had not won locally since 1979 and we faced a Lib Dem majority of over 8,000 when I was selected to run, but we ran an engaging campaign and had over 1,000 volunteers on election day which helped me win a majority of almost 4,500. It was one of the biggest wins in what was a tough night for Labour overall and I remain grateful to everyone who put their trust in me to stand up for our community and to every volunteer for every hour of support.
I was elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2017 on a promise never to vote to harm our local community. During the Coalition Government with the Tories my Lib Dem predecessor harmed our area by tripling university fees, imposing the Bedroom Tax and Universal Credit, cutting our police, causing foodbank use and homlessness to rocket, and damaging our NHS.
I stand by my promise and have worked hard to help those still suffering as a result of the last nine years of Tory-led Governments. I have helped more than 13,000 local people with individual concerns since 2015 and thousands more asking about policy issues or national matters. My weekly surgery is 4pm at 149 Jamaica Road and I campaign every week locally too.
Despite being in Opposition I have also managed to win several law changes and campaigns. Terminally ill people get more support, faster after I helped change the law on a Bill Committee. I use my background running a charity for carers and disabled people on the Work and Pensions Select Committee to improve other support. Employers affected by terror attacks will now get help following my work on Terror Insurance after the attack at London Bridge and Borough Market and JustGiving will no longer take a profit from donations to people or areas affected by terrorism as a result of my campaign against their policy.
It has been a tough four years for the country and it is frustrating to be in Opposition. I would like to be in Government to do more for Bermondsey and Old Southwark and for our country.