THE BLOG

As Labour's Deputy Leader I Believe I Could Help Us to Recover, Rebuild and Win in 2020

18/05/2015 11:00 BST | Updated 18/05/2016 10:59 BST

Labour has just suffered a heart-breaking election defeat all the more shocking because it was unanticipated. We cannot be complacent about the task we face to win in 2020. But we owe it to all those we came into politics to represent not to fall into despair. Nor should we indulge in any more of the faction fighting and score-settling we've seen this weekend. Only our political enemies will rejoice if this carries on.

Today I am entering the race to be Labour's deputy leader because I believe I can help us to recover, rebuild and win in 2020.

Our fight back cannot just be about leadership important though that is. As well as being a part of the leadership team the deputy leader has to be the members' champion. As a former chair of the National Executive Committee and current chair of the national policy forum, I have experience and a proven track record in opening up our structures and making sure that all parts of our party are respected and listened to. They bring wisdom and life experience from their communities and organisations directly into our decision making structures.

We are stronger when we are inclusive and that means learning from the experience of all our members, be they working class or middle class, women or men, black or from an ethnic minority, LGBT or those with disabilities who have unfairly suffered the brunt of Tory attacks.

Since the election defeat 30,000 people have joined the Labour Party because they know we have to resist the Tory vision of how our society should be organised. They don't want to see an economy based on insecurity and fear, soaring poverty and failing public services. Their vision is not a narrow selfish one, they aspire to a fairer and more equal society and they want to be a part of our fight to achieve it.

We don't just find donors and door-knockers at our grassroots, we find people connected to their communities with the answers we need to win again. We need to welcome them, empower them and ensure we use their wisdom and intelligence to take Labour forwards.

Over the course of this campaign I will travel the country to listen to the people who did the hard graft in this election. We need a root and branch review - not of our navels - but of the practical things we need to do to make our party stronger.

I'm not standing in this election to be a commentator, I'm standing in this election because I want to fix the problems we have and help us move forward as a united Party. Together, we can win in 2020.

Angela Eagle is the Labour MP for Wallasey and shadow leader of the House of Commons