I was honoured last week to be invited to join our new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s front bench team in a newly appointed role that is very close to my heart as Shadow Minister in the Cabinet Office for Trade Unions and Civil Society.
The last few days have been hectic in the Westminster ‘village’, with Jeremy and his deputy Tom Watson finalising their front bench team and colleagues settling into new roles.
This will be a new experience and challenge for me, but one which I am thoroughly looking forward to because I am eager to play my part in what we all see as the start of a new era in British politics.
Make no mistake about it, Jeremy Corbyn’s election has set politics alight. His approach to doing politics in a different way has struck a cord with people from all walks of life. He was given the sort of mandate and grass-roots support that others can only dream of.
Now the job facing us in the Labour Party is both to unite in effective opposition to the government and its politics of contempt for the man and woman in the street, the hard-pressed and vulnerable, and to translate Jeremy’s message to our own supporters into the wider community.
My role will be to promote engagement with the trade unions and civil society and the participation of community organisations in politics at grass-roots level. It is a challenge I can’t wait to get started on.