The fight isn’t over yet

Five weeks ago no one gave Labour a chance in Theresa May’s snap election, it was supposed to be the Prime Minister’s coronation, proving that she was strong and stable enough to win everything we wanted from Brexit.

No one gave Labour a chance nationally and certainly no one gave Labour a chance in the safe Tory seat of East Worthing & Shoreham.

An idea that was probably reinforced by the selection of a little known transgender TV presenter as the Labour candidate.

There were those that believed we had no hope, both outside and inside the party.

Five weeks later and that picture looks very different. Through the amazing, hard work of a team of committed activists with little or no resources we achieved a 19.8 swing towards Labour, picking up votes from all of the parties and increasing the Labour vote by over 11,000 from 9,737 to 20,882.

We fought a campaign based on belief, integrity, honesty and policies, and we reached out to more of our constituency than any party had ever done.

Yesterday the country voted for change, nationally and here in East Worthing & Shoreham. They voted for a more caring society, for the many, not the few. We still have a way to go to achieve that change here, in our constituency, but we will continue fighting towards that aim.

I gave up a career in television to become the candidate here, I have no job to go back to, but I don’t regret that one bit. Life is a journey, not a destination, and whilst I may not have a job at the moment I think that I’ve found a new career.

If the Party wants me I will work to remain in politics and hope that someday in the near future that I get the opportunity again.

Thank you so much to everyone that worked with me, supported me and, of course, voted for me. I may not have achieved that change yet but I will not fail you.

Sophie Cook
06:30 June 9, 2017