Use this link to read this article by newly elected Karin Smyth MP, for Progress Online, in which she outlines her determination to work with people of all political persuasions in the years ahead.
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2015 Election acceptance speech:
I’d like to thank the returning officer and all of the staff here and in polling stations across the constituency who have worked tirelessly during a very long day and night. Thank you also to the police for their presence here this evening.
I’d like to thank the team who have worked hard for months to ensure this result tonight. Most of all, perhaps, I owe a debt of thanks to my family for all their support, now and into the future.
I’d like to thank my fellow candidates for what has been a very civilised and policy-focused campaign. I have thoroughly enjoyed debating with them and wish you all the best for the future.
Dawn Primarolo has served Bristol South for 28 years, during which time her dedication and commitment to her constituents was evident for all to see.
It is an honour and privilege to have been entrusted by the people of Bristol South to be her successor in Parliament.
Bristol South is one of the most economically deprived constituencies in the country. There are many thousands of residents living locally who absolutely cannot afford another five years of the Tories’ austerity policies, which have hurt the lowest paid and the most vulnerable in our society, whilst giving a tax cut to millionaires.
I would like to make a solemn promise to the people of this constituency – whether they voted Labour, voted for another party, or if they didn’t vote at all – that I will work my very hardest in Westminster and across Bristol South to ensure they continue to have a dedicated vocal champion for many years to come.
Britain will never succeed if we follow the Tory plan of a low wage, low skill economy – a race to the bottom in which ordinary, working people are always the losers. This approach will not secure more and better paid jobs for south Bristol.
We believe that prosperity must be built for the many, not the few.
That means winning a race to the top, with well paid, high skilled jobs in new industries, and more people setting up, leading and succeeding in business. This private sector growth needs to be supported by an active government, investing for the long-term, setting clear priorities, and enabling businesses to grow.
Bristol should be a world leader in low carbon technology and green jobs. When we open new renewable energy sites, we want to see British manufacturing companies producing the plants, equipment and technology that make them possible.
Our low carbon industries can create a million more of the high skilled jobs we need to win the race to the top.
Far too many young people in south Bristol are having real difficulty finding decent jobs. Many more high quality apprenticeships are needed, so that young people can get the experience and confidence that they need to get on in life.
Only one in ten employers in Bristol and across the UK offers apprenticeships and that needs to change. Labour wants every firm with a major government contract and every employer hiring skilled workers from outside the EU to pay back the country by offering apprenticeships.
With new skills and opportunities the next generation will not be left behind.
• Promote the Living Wage through legislation
• Increase the National Minimum Wage to £8 an hour
• Ban exploitative zero hour contracts
• Create a million new high tech, green jobs by 2025
• Insulate five million homes over the next ten years
• Cut business rates for 1.5 million business properties
I am proud and excited to have been selected by Bristol South Labour Party as their parliamentary candidate for the next General Election.
I was chosen by Labour Party members as the person charged with taking up the helm when Dawn Primarolo retires at the next general election.
The people of Bristol South have had a strong passionate voice representing their issues and standing up for their needs in Westminster and locally for over 25 years in Dawn Primarolo. They will rightly expect a high standard of representation going forward. I am delighted that the members of the local party have put their trust in me to deliver that for them.
I want to thank the Bristol South Labour Party for their vote of confidence in me. I am excited about working together, and with the wider community, to show that only the Labour Party have the understanding of the challenges facing Bristol South, and the ideas to pursue the opportunities.