We will deal with UK's inequality
So, for the seventh time, I am back as MP for Blyth Valley.
First, I must thank my constituents for giving me their trust, and my family, staff and Labour party workers who gave me such tremendous support, not least during my illness at the turn of the year. I will do my utmost to repay that trust and support.
I must also thank Theresa May whose gamble in calling a snap election backfired in such spectacular fashion on June 8.
Rather than the “strong and stable” image her spin doctors put out, she appeared day after day a weak and unstable leader.
Her manifesto was, as Gary Lineker put it, an own goal, which included the dementia tax on family homes, cuts to the social care budget, means-testing of other benefits for the elderly, and the return of fox hunting.
She refused to take part in TV debates, tried to steal Labour polices, such as a cap on home power prices, and offered no explanation for economic policies that have made fat cats richer while seeing a surge in food banks.
After the tragic recent terrorist attacks, she offered no explanation of her record as Home Secretary in cutting police numbers by 20,000.
I must also thank Jeremy Corbyn, who proved that a Left-wing agenda could take the Tories to the wire.
Not only was his campaigning style superb, but his policies struck a real chord among voters, young and old.
Privatisation of the railways, a cash injection for the NHS, abolition of student fees, and an end to austerity policies which benefit the well-off and super-rich and hit the poorest and most vulnerable – all of these proved popular, and will again.
My job at Westminster this week is to help offer a real programme for the people, and the first step is to vote down the Tory legislative programme speech later this month.
We have now got a mandate to deal with issues of poverty, justice and inequality in Britain.