Thursday, June 18, 2009

Back to Brussels

Following what goes down as the most difficult election campaigns I have ever been a part of I am delighted to have been re-elected to the European Parliament and that Labour in the East Midlands actually improved our position to come second behind the Conservatives.

However the results nationally were sad for many reasons, not least the loss of hard-working colleagues who will be greatly missed and whose places will sickeningly be filled by the racist BNP.

I have been back in Brussels this week, having been re-elected as Leader of Labour's MEPs, to begin negotiations on positions and places both in the Socialist Group (President, Vice-President etc), the Parliament as a whole (President of the Parliament, Committee Chairs etc) and candidates for Commission President.

We may have been reduced to 13 MEPs from the 19 we held but we will do our utmost to ensure that our influence remains strong. It will mean pushing ourselves even further, and working ever so much harder, but I have every confidence that our delegation with its many talents and strengths will be up to the task of representing those who kept faith and elected us for our shared values of fairness, decency and solidarity.