I live and work alongside the brilliant, inspiring and community-minded people of Liverpool Wavertree. I have had the privilege of representing this part of our region as a Member of Parliament since 2010, securing the second largest increased majority in a Labour seat at the 2015 General Election.
And, I married my husband Alistair here in summer 2015.
I am a child of Thatcher’s Britain. I was born shortly after she came to power in 1979, and grew up amidst the shameful social division of the Thatcher years. It was a nasty period of our history. Communities were torn apart. Vulnerable people were left to sink or swim. That is why I do the work I do.
Every day I see how hardship and deprivation impact on people’s lives, but I also see the extraordinary potential and creativity that make our region such a unique and inspiring place.
As an MP and Shadow Minister my job is about listening, understanding problems and bringing people together to make change possible.
I have been Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change and Shadow Minister for Public Health under Ed Miliband’s leadership of the Labour Party, and was appointed the first ever Shadow Cabinet level Minister for Mental Health under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of our party.
That has allowed me to work with others to make a real difference from forcing the government to introduce green apprenticeships, tightening the law on dangerous dogs, stopping smoking in cars when children are present, introducing standardised cigarette packaging to stop people starting, and gaining new commitments on mental health.
Now I am seeking your support to be selected as the first Metro Mayor for our region. This is a huge opportunity to harness the energy and talents of everyone in our region, where none is dominant and all can contribute to deliver positive and tangible change.
WHY WE NEED A METRO MAYOR
I believe that this is an opportunity to deliver radical change. It’s a chance to take power and resources from London and give our region a stronger voice nationally and internationally.
The Metro Mayor will be directly elected by all voters in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral and work with the existing council leaders to deliver for all the people of the region.
The devolution deal means that the Metro Mayor will lead the region’s work on improving transport, including buses, strategic planning and overseeing a £900 million, 30 year investment package. This is only the beginning. If elected I want to see more powers and more resources returned to our region.
Labour is choosing our candidate now, and I am asking you for your support and your vote. I want to see decisions affecting the future of our region taken in our region, with real accountability to local party members and communities.
Constituency Labour Party meetings take place across our region between June 13 and June 26 where up to two candidates can be nominated, one of whom must be a woman.
A short-listing panel will interview all the nominated candidates on June 27.
Shortlisted candidates will take part in hustings in July.
Ballot papers for the one member one vote election will be sent out from July 11.
The ballot will close at noon on August 5, and the result will be announced shortly after.
The successful Labour candidate will stand in the Metro Mayor election in May 2017.
WHY I'M STANDING
I am standing in order to offer radical change and real hope. I have made a home in this region and I believe in its future. I want to create an economy that provides high value and rewarding jobs for our young people. I am not prepared to see our region relegated to the second tier of UK City Regions behind places like Manchester and Leeds.
This is an opportunity that we have to grasp. I believe that I can develop and lead a team that makes a real success of the devolution deal by listening, involving people and make the best use of all our talents and experiences.
The election of a mayor for our region is our opportunity to have a new approach with new ideas and make sure we have a City Region for the 21st century and beyond.
Together, we can harness the spirit, skills and knowledge of people from across the region to make a healthy and fulfilling place to live for everyone.
Labour members want to have their say about the devolution deal and the future of our region. Members in every community, street, supermarket, train and bus station can be the eyes and ears of a listening Mayor who uses the local knowledge of members to help shape the ideas and policies that make a real difference to people’s lives.
Devolution should not stop at the door of the Mayor and local councils. It’s a chance to engage and empower communities, businesses and everyone who can help to create a healthy, prosperous and beautiful region for us all.
As a listening Mayor, I will work to unify the region working with leaders in the trade unions, voluntary sector, faith communities, social enterprise, business, co-operatives, education, health, culture, transport and housing.
Above all I believe we need a bigger vision for our City Region. We need to believe in our abilities and recover the ambition that put us on the world map, inspired our great innovators and built successful global businesses.
Together, we have the energy, determination, drive and experience to build a region that is looking outwards and looks forward.
Let’s choose the future.