This morning we told you that Ed Miliband was seeking to “own” the Corby by-election. That began in earnest today as he gave the following speech to Labour activists in Corby today:
I came to Corby less than three weeks ago. Since then Louise Mensch has announced her resignation triggering a by-election for the seat in Parliament.
You and I know it’s going to be a very tough fight if our brilliant candidate, Andy Sawford, is to earn the right to represent the people of Corby. Two years ago, the Conservatives won this seat from Labour. We must persuade those who did not vote Labour last time to put their trust in us again.
Our task is win them back. And we must show we stand for them in this by-election.
We stand for the young people I met just three weeks ago in Corby who cannot find work. We have seen the number of young people looking for work almost double in the past year. We stand for them, for their parents, their grandparents, all of those who think our young people need hope.
We stand for working families who see their budgets being squeezed tighter and tighter.
We stand for the small businesses, like the ones I met, who are struggling to keep their heads above water but can’t get loans they need from the banks or a fair hearing from a government that thinks the most important thing to do is cut taxes for millionaires.
We stand for those worried about the NHS, and what this government’s reorganization will do to frontline services.
For all these people, and people right across Corby, our message is one of hope.
We can change things. We can put our young people back to work by taxing bankers’ bonuses. We can take action to force the energy companies to give people a fairer deal. We can reform our banks so they better serve small business. And we can deliver an NHS focused on the needs of the patients even in tough times.
So that’s who we are fighting for. And the only way we can win that fight is by reaching out to people across Corby.
Our opponents in this by election are not just the Tories and Lib Dems but those who think that politics cannot make a difference. The last time there were council elections here in Corby less than half those eligible to vote did so. We all hear it on the doorsteps. People who say all politicians are the same. Who say that voting won’t make any difference.
If there is one argument I want you to make above all, it is that Labour will make a difference to people’s lives.
I want Andy Sawford elected so he can speak up in Parliament for all the people of Corby, not just a few.
And if we’re going to speak up for all the people – we need to speak to as many people as possible.
In the weeks to come, Labour will be reaching out to everybody in Corby. We should try to visit every home. Labour voters. Tory voters. Liberal Democrat voters. And people who don’t usually vote at all.
We’ve got a big task ahead. Let’s build a crusade for real change in Corby. Let’s show how we can rebuild Corby and rebuild Britain.