As someone who had worked for the Labour Party as a campaign organiser in the run up to the General election, the early hours of the morning of May 8th were difficult. News from all over the country was pouring in of seats that the Labour Party had failed to win. Hearing that senior MP's Douglas Alexander and Ed Balls had lost their seats, was heart-breaking. As I left Dudley Town Hall at 5.30am that morning, relieved by the successful re-election of Ian Austin MP, I found my tiresome brain thinking ahead of what was to now become of the Labour Party.
The next couple of days seemed to pass in a blur as my body recovered from the long and hard campaign. With Ed Miliband deciding to resign as leader and Harriet Harman announcing her decision to step down as deputy leader, things seemed to get even gloomier. It only was when I heard that Tom Watson had decided to run for Deputy Leader of the Labour Party that the gloom seemed to lift.
Tom's always had a strong reputation as a formidable grass roots campaigner and that was more than clear to see on the doorstep with his interactions with the voters. His visits to 109 constituencies in the run up to the general election always delivered a boost and he remained top choice as chief guest for many fundraising events held by local Labour party branches.
For me, it was Tom's proven track record and passion to speak out on important issues that led me to support his candidature as the next Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. From his role in the News International phone hacking scandal inquiry to his campaign for an inquiry into the British Government's collusion with India on Operation Bluestar of 1984, Tom has connected with voters by leading from the front on issues that matter the most to them.
Much has been said recently about how the Labour party engages with the voters and especially those disillusioned with the party. It is vital that the Labour Party is seen as a party which can be trusted and is on the side of the people and communities, especially those who feel that Labour has abandoned them.
I believe that Tom Watson is the ideal deputy leader who will not only address our frailties but lead a strong campaign to elect a Labour Government in 2020.