Monday 14 May 2007

Thanks to Michael

As many of you may know, Michael Meacher and myself held a meeting today and have together decided that I will stand as the candidate of the Labour left.

I want to use this opportunity to pay tribute to the gracious and dignified speech Michael made at the joint press conference today. Michael and his whole team have already been doing all they can to ensure that our campaign is a success - by calling on his supporters to nominate me, and by offering to do all they can to help.

No-one in Parliament has been more of a dedicated advocate of environmental issues than Michael. I look forward to working with him in the days and weeks ahead, and I am particularly looking forward to his contribution to the pressing issue of climate change.

As you will all know, to get a place on the ballot paper, I will need to receive the nomination of 44 fellow MPs. Today, I have asked my colleagues to nominate to ensure that Labour party members and trade unionists - the people who deliver our leaflets, fight the Tories at elections and keep our party going with their financial contributions - have a say in this upcoming election. I know that many MPs recognise that there is a tremendous appetite out there for a friendly, democratic debate that will only strengthen our party, and I hope that they will nominate me on that basis.

Finally, I want to thank you all for your support. The reason that we have got as far is because of the work many of you have put in to building what is, above all, a grassroots campaign. Already, this campaign has been a success. Let's continue to surprise them.

P.S. As you will know, Michael and myself took part in a friendly debate with Gordon Brown yesterday at the Fabian Society. Below you can see a video from the event: