I got back from Manchester, my own university stomping ground, earlier today, after travelling up to a special conference to announce and celebrate the Labour Party’s new Leader and Deputy Leader.
Although Jon Cruddas, my preferred candidate, came third in the final result for Deputy Leader, like other Cruddas supporters, I am delighted with his result.
Jon Cruddas may not have won the Deputy Leadership post yesterday but he most certainly won the campaign.
But credit where credit is due.
Harriet Harman (pictured above, giving her victory speech) deserves to be congratulated for her victory on becoming Labour’s new Deputy Leader and I hope that the whole party will get behind her.
The Cruddasites certainly did….
It was a real privilege to be in the hall to listen to Gordon Brown’s first speech as Labour Party Leader.
I was over the moon that he started his speech with such a firm statement on housing. For the past year as a local councillor – and even before that when I was campaigning out in Leyton – the issue that kept coming up on the doorstep and in my surgeries since is housing, housing and housing.
I look forward to the day when I can help the Leyton families I know get transferred out of their overcrowded homes within six months rather than six years.
I also look forward to finally being able to afford my own property!!!
Brown’s indication that he will allow local councils to start building homes again is particularly welcome.
After the conference ended, I joined other Jon Cruddas supporters to celebrate the end of his excellent campaign.
Even though Jon came third, we are very proud of the result and of the campaign he ran.
Pictured around the table raising a toast to Jon are Alex Sobel, Tom Miller, Alan Scobbie, Catherine Bithell, Mark Donne, Neil Foster, Max Freedman, Adele Reynolds, Nick Parrott and Matthew McGregor.
A huge, huge and huge (I would carry on saying it forever if I didn’t have to go to bed) congratulations in particular to Jon Cruddas’ superb campaign managers Nick Parrott (pictured above first left, next to Neil Foster) and Matthew McGregor (pictured to my right).
I remember sitting in Portcullis House back in November with Matthew, Nick and others, a couple of weeks after Jon has declared his intention to run in the deputy leadership contest feeling excited but terrified. I don’t think I’ll be breaking either of their confidences if I say that I think both Nick and Matthew were terrified too – but what an absolutely amazing job you’ve done in just a few months!!!!
You have turned an unknown back bencher into a household name.
You have shaped the entire debate of the Labour Deputy Leadership contest on policy as well as party organisation and won the argument.
You have helped put Labour’s centre left back on the map.
So, all I can say is thank you and congratulations again to Jon, you and everyone else who worked their socks off for Jon Cruddas.
We can be proud of the part he played in positively shaping our party’s future during this contest.
Let’s hope this is just the beginning for him and for everything he stood for during his groundbreaking 2007 Labour Party Deputy Leadership campaign.