Following two years of lockdowns and virtual meetings, it was especially fantastic to get back out on the Labour doorstep, catching up with residents and Labour Party members as part of the local election campaign. It was great to also campaign in Ilford South and, going forward, we’ll continue to hold our popular walking surgeries across the constituency.

I was delighted to have seen so many brilliant local election candidates elected and re-elected, which sent a real message to the Tories.

The barnstorming victory across London, with Labour gaining previously unheld councils of Wandsworth, Westminster and Barnet, as well as taking more seats than ever in Redbridge, reflects what voters told me on the doorstep – that people are sick of Boris’ corrupt government, from energy bill increases to wasting billions on PPE, to Priti Patel’s latest inhumane plans to outsource asylum cases to Rwanda, which does not represent either the interests of voters in modern Britain or, more importantly, the needs of some of the most vulnerable people on earth who are attempting to seek sanctuary and safe passage in our country. I want to extend my gratitude to everyone who came out campaigning in Ilford South and to all of you who have put your trust in Labour once again.

I also want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Cllr Bob Littlewood, who’s stepped down after nearly 40 years of tireless service to Ilford. Many years ago Bob knocked on my door, convinced me to join UK Labour, and he leaves an enormous hole in Redbridge Council.