Finally, after months of dithering, the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has announced the next General Election.

His speech was a perfect metaphor for his premiership. Wet, miserable, and flat. It was a sorry sight.

It is time for change. People tell me how fed up with the shambles they see from the government day after day, how desperate they are for those in power to ditch the gimmicks and to get on with the job, and how they want a fresh start. Now, we have our chance to end nearly a decade and a half of miserable, incompetent and chaotic Conservative rule, and forge a new course for our country.

Here in Ipswich, we are on the right track after winning 15 out of 18 seats in the recent local elections. Our army of volunteers continue to work so hard, and we talked to 11,500 people across Ipswich in April alone, and delivered the best part of 100,000 leaflets too.

However, the General Election is a completely different beast. Nothing is decided, not a single vote has been cast, and we can’t take people’s trust for granted. We can be confident, but never complacent.

I am proud of Ipswich, and know how much potential we have. Yet few people would argue about how badly we have been let down, both nationally and locally.

Under the Conservatives, public services have reached breaking point, and their shambolic handling of the economy has delivered an unabating cost-of-living-crisis.

Locally, the current incumbent MP has spent much of the last five years talking Ipswich down, and driving people and communities apart.

How many opportunities have we lost? How much time has been wasted through inaction? How many people can say they are better off?

The truth is, we can’t turn a corner with the people who drove us into a dead end in the first place. We need change, but the only way to bring about change is by voting the Conservatives out and electing a new Labour government.

The situation we as a Labour Party could inherit will not be easy because the Conservatives have made such a mess of things, but we can and will rebuild our town, and our country. We can take Britain in a different direction and we can give people hope once again.

As outlined in my column last week, Labour has a fully costed plan for the future – we are not going to play fast and loose with the economy and gamble with people’s mortgages, savings and livelihoods like the Conservatives have done.

Last week Keir Starmer set out the first steps a Labour Party will take to give people hope, and get our country back on its feet.

We will restore economic stability to get the economy growing, cut NHS waiting times, launch a new Border Security Command, establish GB Energy, crack down on anti-social behaviour again, and recruit 6,500 teachers to prepare children for life, work and the future.

From one of the worst electoral defeats in history, Keir Starmer has changed the Labour Party and now he is ready to change Britain. Labour has learned the lessons of the past and we will return the government to its core purpose: public service. We will always put country before party.

On 4th July you have the choice. You have the power of your vote, you can choose to stop the chaos, so we can start to change our town and our country for the better.

Back Jack, and together, we can build a new future for Ipswich.

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