In the first of a series of monthly columns, the newly-elected MP for Batley and Spen Tracy Brabin outlines her hopes and aspirations.
Firstly can I thank every single person who braved the rain a week last Thursday to come to the polling station and place your cross next to my name.
You voted against division and hatred.
Also I’d also like to thank everyone who helped the campaign.
Your leafleting, phone-banking and door-knocking made this victory possible.
Being elected as Member of Parliament for my hometown is a bittersweet moment.
Jo Cox was a wonderful person and an extraordinary parliamentarian and I will work to build on her legacy whilst ploughing my own furrow to be the best MP I can be.
My swearing in to Parliament was one of the proudest moments of my life.
My family, who travelled from Yorkshire to watch, found it extremely moving.
Proud to be the 100th Labour woman MP, it was an honour to have the excellent mental health campaigner Luciana Berger MP on one side and the wonderful Holly Lynch, the MP for Halifax, on the other.
Both sides of the House welcomed me with smiles and nods, mindful of the circumstances of my arrival, determined to put party politics to one side.
As I signed my name on the roll, Lucy Powell lightened the pomp by calling out “you’ve got the job” bringing a ripple of laughter into the proceedings.
The following few days were a blur of organisation.
Setting up an office, interviewing staff, dealing with IT and payroll and attending as many meetings as possible in a building built to confuse.
My plan is to be a champion to those hit by vicious Tory cuts. The accumulative reduction in spending is equivalent to each family in our community losing £368 per year and I will fight for a fair deal for the people of Batley and Spen in both Brexit and the Northern Powerhouse negotiations.
Nobody in the Commons has my background as an actor and writer and I want to use that experience to bring jobs and training in television and film into our region.
I’m very happy to have been invited onto the Performers Alliance All Party Group that exists to represent the interests of creative workers in parliament, chaired by the fabulous Alison McGovern MP.
Finally a message to my constituents.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting your faith and trust in me.
I will be an MP for every single member of my community, whoever you voted for.
Jo will never be forgotten and we will stand side by side with her family.
In her memory I will work tirelessly to be a strong Yorkshire voice for all my constituents and a champion for the place I’m so proud to call home.