Interesting interview in the House Magazine with Derek Wyatt on his decision to stand down as MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey. On the doorsteps one of the questions regularly asked is what has Labour done. Asked about his proudest moments as a MP he says....
"Firstly, winning £100m for a new bridge between Sheppey and the mainland. Secondly, pushing through the largest Academy programme in the UK against stiff local opposition - which has subsided completely now that it is up and running. Thirdly, starting the Stripped of our Pensions campaign in 2002 with ASW Sheerness which ultimately led to winning £8bn from the government six years later."
Three things the Conservatives could have done, but did not.
Asked what do you think Labour's biggest achievements in government have been he responds...
"So many, including the minimum wage when the Tories thought there would be an extra one million unemployed. I wondered what planet they were on. Sure Starts may need 10 years to bed down, but they have made a sensational impact."
I have often seen Derek on trains, many times late at night so I know how hard he has worked. He modestly omits mentioning his website click here to see one of the very best by a politician.
Labour's new candidate from Sheerness Angela Harrison is well known locally as current Labour Group Leader at Swale District Council and a former Kent County Councillor. Whenever I have met her, I have been impressed by her workrate and determination. Best wishes to her in the tough fight she will have to follow in Derek's footsteps, and thanks to him for all his work for Kent.