Last week I nipped up to Scotland by train on Monday for a packed visit talking to businesses about Labour’s economic plans. I had a number of business meetings, and spoke at the Scottish Council for Development and Industry to set out how our economic vision. You can read my full speech here.

It might seem odd when my time is already juggled between Stalybridge and London to add in addition locations, but as Shadow Business Secretary studiously preparing to run a very different Government, it’s really important to talk with business owners, workers and trade unions across the whole country and share our bold plans for an economy in which no part of the UK is left behind.

Keir’s ambitious mission for the UK to achieve the highest sustained growth in the G7 will not be achieved by opportunity and wealth being hoarded exclusively in London and the south east of England. I believe every part of the UK must feel the benefits of a vibrant economy, good jobs, bustling high streets, better public services. It isn’t about growing the economy in London for the Westminster government of the day to decide who gets what. It’s a fundamentally different economy that works for the benefit of everyone.

I’m very proud to live and represent Stalybridge, Hyde, Longdendale, Mossley and half of Dukinfield, but I also grew up in Sunderland, just 130 miles from Edinburgh. Frankly Sunderland and Manchester are both places that in many ways have more in common with parts of Scotland, than they do some Southern parts of England.

My commitment, the Labour Party commitment, is not just to turn the UK from being one of the worst performing major economies to being the best. It’s to do so in a way which benefits every part of the UK, and everyone within it. I don’t want to live in a country that looks like Portugal with Singapore at the bottom.

On Tuesday I crossed Central Scotland from Edinburgh to Rutherglen, and enjoyed a brilliant visit to PK Foods pakora factory. We need more stories like their’s – a successful family businesses scaling up and creating jobs. I want every part of the UK to thrive. That underpins everything that we propose to do.

The current Government has lost it’s ambition for Britain’s economy, let wages stagnate, and put growth on ice. I’m proud to have authored an industrial strategy which will drive all sectors of our economy forward so we don’t just catch up with neighbouring economies, we overtake them.

I also hit the doorsteps campaigning for Scottish Labour alongside their Leader, my friend Anas Sarwar, after it was announced Nationalist Margaret Ferrier MP has been suspended from the House of Commons for breaching Covid rules and putting others at risk by travelling the country after testing positive. A potential byelection in Rutherglen would be a big test of whether Labour can make gains against the SNP necessary to put us on a path to Government.

From Stalybridge to Scotland, Britain deserves to be going places. I won’t stop until we are.

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