I am very proud to have stood as Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for South West Hertfordshire but behind me was a fantastic team whose massive efforts give us confidence that we can continue to build our support. The election result here was another indicator of Labour gaining ground in this area. We increased Labour’s vote by over 6,000 to reach 15,578, with our highest share since 2001 at over 25%, and a slightly higher total vote than in the 1997 Labour landslide.

I want to thank everyone who placed their trust in me and the many party members, supporters and volunteers who put in countless hours between them, knocking on doors, chatting to people on our street stalls, delivering leaflets, organising meetings and putting up posters, and to a number who made generous donations to campaign funds.

Of course, David Gauke still won, but we pegged back his majority by over 3,500. Big majorities – locally or nationally – often result in people feeling taken for granted, whether by the government, or their MP.

In denying Theresa May the majority she asked for the people of this country sent a clear message that they are not to be ignored. Listening to people around here, they are also dissatisfied with our MP’s lack of concern for dealing with their issues.

I offered the choice of a different type of MP with the time, energy and genuine commitment to listen and respond effectively. I hope that this result will give our MP pause for thought about whether he is serving people as well as he could. This will be even more challenging as he takes on more responsibility in the Government, heading the Department for Work and Pensions. With Theresa May struggling to hang on to power, it looks like we may well get the chance to give him another performance review sooner rather than later, and I look forward to seeing Labour cut his majority even more next time!

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