East Ham MP Stephen Timms sees the election defeat as an opportunity


- Credit: Archant

In the general election, I received 40,563 votes. This is the largest number cast for any candidate anywhere in the country, and, with the exception of the Speaker, the highest number cast for any UK general election candidate in over 20 years.

I am immensely grateful to everyone who supported me, and to all the Labour party members and supporters who helped secure this huge victory. I really appreciated the enthusiastic support during the campaign from local residents outside schools and stations, in High Street North and on the doorsteps.

Last year I completed 20 years as MP. I will continue to work tirelessly as East Ham’s parliamentary representative.

Lyn Brown also had a great result in West Ham, and I was very pleased that – helped by party members from Newham – Labour’s Wes Streeting captured Ilford North from the Conservatives. But there is no escaping the fact that Labour suffered a devastating defeat nationally.

The election has left us reflecting on what went wrong. We must now decide on a new direction for the party. A key step will be electing a new leader on September 10.

Since May 7, over 30,000 new members have joined the Labour party. They will all be able to vote in the leadership election. Last week, acting Labour leader Harriet Harman told an audience in central London that, in addition, she wanted members of the public to help pick the next leader, regardless of how they voted. So, anyone on the electoral register who wants to support the Labour Party will be able – for £3 – to become a registered Labour supporter, and to vote in the contest.

This was Labour’s worst defeat since 1992. It is also a great opportunity to get involved, and to help shape the party for years to come.

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