On the morning of the 7th November last year, if you’d walked into Parliament and stood close to the main voting office, you’d have seen a long winding queue of MPs and their staff nervously checking their phones.
That morning, all MPs were given an embargoed copy of the revised boundary changes for the next General Election. A new rule means that there can only be a 5% variance from the average quotas of electors per seat (around 73,000), meaning constituencies must be chopped and changed, and some abolished outright.
It’s an important process, and quite a nerve-wracking one. Not only do you run the risk of potentially losing your seat as an MP, but you also have to do your utmost to protect the character and community of the area you represent.
The new boundaries mean big changes right across Greater Manchester, but particularly in Tameside. The Denton and Reddish constituency – which I serve and has existed for 40 years – is being abolished.
The Audenshaw and Dukinfield wards will go into the Ashton-under-Lyne constituency, Reddish North and South will move into the Stockport constituency and the three Denton wards will be joined with Gorton & Abbey Hey, Longsight, Levenshulme and Burnage in the city of Manchester to form a brand new Gorton and Denton constituency.
I am delighted to announce that I will be standing as the Labour Party’s candidate to become the Member of Parliament for the new Gorton and Denton seat.
This will be a vibrant, diverse and unique seat, and I am excited to have the opportunity to represent residents living in Gorton & Abbey Hey, Longsight, Levenshulme and Burnage alongside my home town of Denton.
It almost goes without saying that I will be sad to say goodbye to Audenshaw, Dukinfield and Reddish. I’ve served these areas for 18 years, and it remains the honour of my life. I am so grateful to all the exceptional residents and councillors I’ve worked with over the years. I am proud of what we have achieved locally, and I know that valuable work will continue for years to come.
Until the next General Election, however, I remain the MP for Denton and Reddish, and as fully committed to the job as I have always been. I feel enormously privileged to do what I do and will continue to be a strong voice in Westminster for the people I represent.