Leading the Labour Party is a big job, and it’s a serious job – that’s why we need a
leader who brings strength and a track record to the role. Nobody doubts Yvette’s
toughness or her experience, but what’s really important to me is the way she’s
drawing on that experience to set out her stall for the future of our country and our
party, and how that reflects her values.
Yvette’s achievements in government, and as shadow home secretary, tell us both
what she’s capable of – and what it is she cares about, and will make a priority as
our leader. Sure Start, the Future Jobs Fund, the Women’s Safety Commission –
these initiatives, led and championed by Yvette, go to the heart of her politics, to her
belief in equality, and to investment in families and young people.
But Yvette doesn’t want to rest on the achievements of the past. She’s ambitious for
the future. And nowhere is that boldness more in evidence than in her commitment
to ending child poverty. Labour had a tremendous track record on this in
government, lifting more than 1 million children above the poverty line. But since
2011, progress has stalled, and George Osborne’s vicious policies are set to plunge
thousands of children back into poverty.
Against such a backdrop, many have said the target to end child poverty in a
generation is no longer a realistic ambition. Not Yvette. She’s been outspoken and
crystal clear that she is inspired by the goal of ending child poverty. That’s a brave
commitment to make when times are so tough, but Yvette won’t back away from
what she believes is right. Socialism is the language of priorities, and she’s right to
make this hers.
Because it’s only when we set ourselves bold and ambitious goals that we find the
courage and energy to achieve them. It’s only when we have a big vision for the
future that we can change the world. And it’s only when those ambitions are rooted,
rock solid, in our Labour values, that we deserve to and will succeed.
Putting the goal of ending child poverty at the heart of her leadership demonstrates
that it’s Yvette who’s the radical candidate, the one who dares to re-imagine a better, socially just, and more prosperous world in which everyone has a share. But she will
do more than dream of it. Her strength, her record, her commitment, and her determination together are what will make it a reality.
That’s why I’m proud to back her as our next leader.