Malcolm Birks
Malcolm Birks

Malcolm Birks, Labour Party, on his campaign to be MP for Ripon & Skipton

6 July 2024

Malcolm Birks (labour) received 17,183 votes, and that placed him as second place to Julian Smith (Conservative) who gained 18,833 votes.

Malcolm Birks said:

I would like to thank everyone who supported me in the recent election. Unfortunately, we came up just short, but have achieved a very large swing to Labour and have turned a once Tory-stronghold into a marginal seat. Our 13% increase in the vote share was way in excess of the national picture (2%). This represents a seismic shift in local politics.

I feel privileged to have met hundreds of local people during the election campaign and to have heard their stories. From extraordinary entrepreneurs creating jobs and opportunities, to fantastic childcare workers, battling against the odds. From dedicated local campaign groups working to unveil the truth, to heroic healthcare support workers. From expert farmers producing wonderful food, to environmentalists leading the way in nature recovery. So many inspiring people powering our area forwards.

I have also seen places of great deprivation and whole communities feeling disillusioned and cut-off. The actions of the last Conservative government have had a profound, negative effect on whole sections of our society, with devastating consequences.

I am confident that the new Labour government will quickly bring about the changes needed to improve the lives of working people and unify our communities. This will be vital if we are to avoid further descent into the dark depths of populism and prejudice.

I really hope that our local MP, mayor and councillors can work together constructively for the benefit of our area. Our constituency can feel peripheral to those in the centres of power and we must not allow the very real issues here to be forgotten, or to receive only the crumbs of investment. Therefore, I feel we must both celebrate more loudly the best of what takes place here and also bring attention to the very real problems that lie beneath the surface.

Thank you to the many people who took the time to speak to me these past few weeks. You have inspired me and, with a Labour government now in place, I feel we can face the future with optimism.

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