Thanks for vote but it will be a tough five years

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First off, I must thank the wonderful people of Blyth Valley who re-elected me after 28 years as their MP.

It has been a pleasure and a privilege and I promise to work hard for my constituents for another five years.

Mind you, it is going to be a tough five years for all of us.

The Tory government is now free to pursue its vendetta against working people, no longer held back by their junior Lib Dem partners.

If you think the last five years of austerity have been hard, you have not seen anything yet.

Forget scrapping the hated ‘bedroom tax’, which hits some of the most vulnerable people in society. Instead, we will get another £12bn in welfare cuts to finance more tax breaks for the ‘fat cats’.

Local government funding for essential services, already cut to the bone, will be hacked further, possibly to the point of extinction.

And there will be more backdoor privatisation of the NHS, which will impact most heavily on the old and infirm.

I’m not going to pretend it wasn’t a bad night for Labour nationally. But after another five years of Tory mayhem, let’s hope that more people show the good sense demonstrated by the people of Blyth Valley.

And as for the Labour leadership, I’m backing Andy Burnham, as I did last time around. He is a good, working-class northern lad who understands the needs and aspirations of hard-working, decent families.