FOR the second successive year, Christmas is going to feel very different for most of us once again.
Life continues in the face of Covid, as people have adapted to life amidst the disruption and uncertainty that the pandemic continues to bring.
I understand that these are difficult times we are all living under, but I hope that you can find enjoyment at this time of year, in a safe way.
The year began with England entering its third national lockdown and legal limits on social contact only lifted on June 21.
On a local level, people have stepped up to the challenges and continued to support their communities.
There has been much to celebrate across South Tyneside this year. I am incredibly proud by the warmth and generosity that so many people across our communities have shown each other over the past 18 months.
On a personal level, this is my second year as MP for the Jarrow constituency and I have enjoyed the immense challenges this prestigious position holds.
I’ve tried to visit as many schools and businesses across the constituency as time and restrictions have allowed and raise key issues that affect local people, such as unfair cuts to Universal Credit.
I would also like to pay tribute to our NHS workers, care workers, delivery drivers, retail staff, police officers, council bin collectors, postal workers, food bank volunteers, and each and every person from our communities who go that extra mile to help others.
South Tyneside is renowned for its community spirit, and we continue to see it in abundance every day.
This is an area that has been hit hard by over a decade of Tory austerity and I will continue to fight hard for more investment across our local communities.
Over the past year Boris Johnson has continued to demonstrate that he and his Government clearly aren’t up to the job.
The stunning loss of North Shropshire, following by the top civil servant appointed to investigate Downing Street parties resigning his post, is yet more proof that Boris Johnson is on borrowed time.
Time after time, Boris Johnson’s Government have scored a series of contemptible own goals from a free pass on sleaze to lockdown double-standards.
2022 will, of course, more difficult challenges ahead but I can assure you that I will continue to work hard for the people I represent and continue to hold this dreadful Government to account.
Myself and my team are here for you if you ever need any help or support at any time. I wish you and your families a happy, healthy and safe Christmas and a more positive and prosperous 2022.