As Boris Johnson clung on to power and the Tories turned a blind eye to the nation's cost of living crisis, our Labour Party was setting out a new vision for the country.
I was proud to introduce Keir Starmer when he came to Gateshead to set out our party's fresh start for Britain.
As Keir made clear: "Only Labour can reboot our economy and end the cost-of-living crisis. Only Labour can revitalise our public services and re-energise our communities. Only Labour can unite the country and clean-up politics. It's time for a Labour government."
I told the audience gathered at the Sage Gateshead that in the North of England, we see all too often the cost of 12 years of Tory austerity, the impact of Government cuts to our councils and our public services that have yet to end.
Our wages are lower, our employment rate is higher and over 37% of kids here are growing up in poverty.
And as my union Unison keep telling us, our key workers are going from the front line to the bread line and that is something we can’t tolerate.
Yet there's also a story of regional pride and Labour in power here.
The Sage, the Baltic next door and the beautiful Millennium Bridge are all legacies of
the last Labour Government and a strong labour council. The next phase of development- an international convention centre - is down to that Labour led council and their bold vision for economic regeneration.
But if we want to go even further, we need a General Election.
The fact is the Tories, regardless of who they choose as PM, have lost the plot. The cost of living crisis, with inflation and further pain for families to come as energy bills go up in the autumn, people will suffer at the hands of their negligence and God forbid, people will die, just as too many did in during the pandemic.
We need a General Election. This region needs a General Election and
we need a Labour Government now.