No one saw this coming in quite this way. The onset of a General Election has forced many of us in the Labour Party to confront head on the fears and hopes for a future that has suddenly become very real.
I am no fan of Jeremy Corbyn. I disagree with many of the decisions and viewpoints that he has taken over the years. I am on the record expressing my concern about the position his leadership has left the Labour Party in.
But he is our Leader, democratically chosen on two occasions to be so. His leadership will be judged against the result on 8th June, but he has the right to lead us into that election. And we know that, whatever our disagreements, a Labour Government is needed now more than ever. I am hugely encouraged by the policies and proposals we have announced in the past few days.
I will be working as hard as possible for a Labour victory on 8th June and I urge every Labour member to do so. To do any less is to grant the hard-Right Conservative Party carte blanche to continue the phased disintegration of our country in the name of Brexit.
It is no secret to those who know me that I hold a longstanding ambition to be a Member of Parliament. As a former Parliamentary, London Assembly and multiple Local Election Candidate, with almost 20 years of experience in the Party and significant life experience, I believe I have a huge amount to offer as a candidate and, I hope, as an MP.
There is no greater privilege for me than to have my name appear against the red rose on a ballot paper. I will therefore be submitting myself for consideration as a candidate at the forthcoming General Election.
I will ask in the first instance to be considered for my home constituency of Lewisham West & Penge, where our Labour MP, Jim Dowd, is standing down after 25 years of service and for whom it would be an immense honour to serve. I am more than aware that that we have some extremely strong local members who would also make fantastic candidates.
Ultimately, whether the NEC deems that I stand here, somewhere else, or nowhere, I will be doing my utmost to make 9th June the first day of an exciting Labour future.