It has been the privilege of my life to have represented the people of Greenwich, Charlton, Woolwich, Blackheath and Plumstead as your Member of Parliament for the past two years.
In that short period of time, I have helped over 5,000 residents with advice and support on issues including disability entitlements, overcrowded housing, planning, business rates, parking, debt, and funding for complex medical conditions.
I have also helped protect and promote local charities, voluntary groups and services which residents depend on and that change lives, from those providing support for children with special needs and their families to those assisting vulnerable migrants and refugees.
I have fought to defend our local health services and for improvements to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. I’ve campaigned for better public transport links across the constituency. I’ve fought tooth and nail for improvements to Southeastern train services and for their replacement by TfL in 2018. I've opposed education funding cuts that will have a devastating impact on our local schools. I've worked alongside community groups to press for a clean, green Enderby Wharf cruise liner terminal. I've opposed plans for a Silvertown Tunnel. I've worked hard to ensure that if we’re to have an IKEA in Greenwich it’s sustainable and actively promotes public transport use.
In Parliament, I have established the first ever All-Party Parliamentary Group on Air Pollution and have campaigned for more ambitious measures to clean up our toxic air. I’ve fought against the closure of Woolwich barracks. I forced the Government to change the law to levy bigger fines on rogue landlords. I’ve championed the environment and have been a strong advocate for renewable energy and a more rapid transition to a green economy.
Many of the decisions I've had to make have not been easy ones, but I have always voted from conviction for what I believe to be in the best interests of all those I represent.
At stake in this election is the type of country we want to be.
Like the majority of those living in Greenwich and Woolwich, I voted ‘Remain’ on 23 June 2016. Moreover, I campaigned tirelessly across the constituency to persuade others to do the same. I am still frustrated and saddened by the outcome of the referendum and I still believe that continued membership of the EU would be in our national interest.
I accept the close but clear referendum result. However, I do not accept the extreme and damaging hard Brexit that the Tories are pursuing. They alone decided to walk away from the single market — a decision that puts local jobs and prosperity at risk.
For the past ten months, I have been fighting:
- for the maintenance of barrier-free access to the single market;
- to retain all the rights – workers’, environmental and human – we currently enjoy as members of the EU; and
- for a close and collaborative future partnership with the EU 27.
In the months and years ahead we face the battle of our times over the form that Brexit will take and against a vision of Britain devised by the hard right of the Tory party. That is where the focus and energy of all internationalists and pro-Europeans must now be. That is where my focus has been, and where it will remain if I am re-elected as your Member of Parliament on 8 June.
Theresa May has opportunistically called this General Election in an attempt to secure a landslide
majority that will allow her to push through Brexit at any cost. In seats like Greenwich and Woolwich, where the Tories came second in 2015, May will be hoping to secure a win by splitting the progressive vote.
I hope I can count on your support to ensure that doesn’t happen.