I left the role of Opposition Chief Whip after four and a half years of serving in both Jeremy Corbyn and Sir Keir Starmer’s Shadow Cabinets. During this time, I covered both the Parliamentary divisions on Brexit and the passage of significant legislation relating to the Coronavirus pandemic amongst many other things. It was a reasonable time for me to move on. I do so with mutual respect and on good terms with Sir Keir. I recommended Sir Alan Campbell, the Member of Parliament for Tynemouth, as my successor. He had been my Deputy and I was pleased to see him appointed to the role. I think he has all the qualities to make an outstanding Chief Whip and wish him, Sir Keir and the rest of the Shadow Cabinet every success. They will have my support from the backbenches.
I will focus on being the best constituency Member of Parliament I can be. I’ll press the government on the issues of climate change and environmental standards including toxic air pollution in Newcastle and plastic contamination. I will be a strong advocate for getting quality ‘green’ jobs to North East of England. I also want to pay particular attention to the growing child poverty rates in our constituency and the related issue of rising mental ill-health in children.