Wednesday, 1 April 2015

My campaign for re election to be your local MP

With less than 40 days to go until the General Election I have kicked off my campaign for re-election by signing a public pledge to fight a "clean and positive" campaign.

One of the most important issues for me is trying to restore voters’ trust and faith in politics. Politics must be about working together, delivering for our community, and standing up for our area.

As the 2015 General Election officially begins I have signed up to a Clean Campaign Pledge and asked my fellow candidates to the same. The pledge will give the people of Tynedale a clear personal commitment from all candidates that we will act responsibly and fairly during the forthcoming campaign.

I have committed to running a positive campaign based on my record as Tynedale's local MP over the past 5 years. Hand on heart, I can say it has made me immensely proud to serve for the past five years as your MP - and what a five years it has been!

A lot has changed for me over the last 5 years, not least surviving a brain tumour in spring 2011. There was a time that I really thought I would have to give up being the local MP. The NHS surgeon who saved my life warned me that the potential risks included paralysis down my right side and an inability to talk. On the day of the operation, May 5, 2011, I had been an MP for just one year. 

Thankfully the operation was a success, I am 100% recovered and I certainly haven’t lost the power to talk! The debt I owe to our NHS will remain with me forever.

There are people who say MPs shouldn’t get involved in local issues, that they should just stick to Westminster matters, and toe the party line. I couldn’t disagree more. In Parliament, I have been independent minded and I have tried my hardest to get stuck into local issues - campaigning to preserve our Greenbelt, fighting for rebuilds and fairer funding for our local schools, working on broadband improvements, lobbying for more jobs and helping to get transport infrastructure upgraded.

In 40 days time it will be time for local people to judge my record. It will be my name on the ballot paper. I am taking nothing for granted. If people think I haven’t been a good local MP, I do not expect or deserve your vote.

If however, local people think I have been a good local MP - I hope I can count on your support on May 7th.

It would be an honour for me if you felt able to support me in this election.