Straight down to business
It is an enormous privilege to be elected to serve Rutherglen and Hamilton West in the UK Parliament.
I would like to sincerely thank those who have placed their trust in me and those who fought so hard to get me here.
In my acceptance speech, I pledged that no matter how you voted or what your reasons were, I will work hard every day to represent you, your family and our communities to the best of my ability.
I am keen to get on with that pledge, that is why I held my first surgeries on the Saturday after the election and I have already been out across the constituency to meet local residents and community groups.
Elections are a rollercoaster of emotions. When you win, you are in shock. Your mind races as you try to process what has happened. There’s the sheer joy felt by you and your team after a high-tempo campaign that you have all lived and breathed every minute of every day. Then there is the sense of urgency, the impatience you feel to get started.
Of course, there is another side of an election victory. I know what it is like to lose and it’s not easy. I would like to wish my predecessor, Margaret Ferrier, well for the future and I extend my thoughts to all those employees of outgoing MPs as they move on to new challenges.
The national outcome of this election remains unclear. One thing is certain, Theresa May has badly miscalculated the mood of the nation and her election gamble has spectacularly backfired.
Almost every hollow catchphrase uttered by the Conservative Party in this election has come back to haunt them. There is nothing ‘strong and stable’ about the unholy ‘coalition of chaos’ Ms May is seeking to enter with the DUP. A more unfit and unsavoury partner in government would be hard to find.
The very same Prime Minister who complained that Jeremy Corbyn wanted to take the country back to the 1970s, now seeks the backing of a party full of illiberal climate change deniers who think breastfeeding a child is “exhibitionism” and who are “repulsed” by LGBT people like me because we are “immoral, offensive and obnoxious”.
I hope the DUP will be deeply offended by my arrival in parliament. I look forward to sharing my views with them at the earliest opportunity and, if Ruth Davidson has an ounce of courage, she will do the same.
Contrast all of this with what a government led by Jeremy Corbyn would mean for the country.
A leader who has breathed new life into UK politics offering a manifesto of hope for everyone no matter your background. A radical programme for government that will stop Tory austerity and transform lives for the better. I desperately want to see that alternative realised.
Whatever happens in the coming weeks, I will fight for our constituency and for that vision of hope, tolerance, equality and solidarity.
I hope the DUP will be deeply offended by my arrival in parliament
New MP Labour’s Gerard Killen