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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 February 2007, 10:46 GMT
Blears: 'Winning for Labour'
Hazel Blears MP
Labour must be seen as the party of success and ambition...
Hazel Blears MP

There is no more important task for the Labour Party than winning the next election. That must be the focus of all that we do in the coming months.

The Labour Party will face a tough challenge at the next election. After ten years in office, we are no longer the new kids on the block.

We cannot simply remind people how dreadful it was under the Tories.

We will have to campaign hard to show what we have achieved, to explain what we intend to do, and to remind people we are on their side and in tune with their aspirations.

Labour must be seen as the party of success and ambition. People naturally want to get on and do well.

They want to live in a decent home, have good quality services, safe streets, and the chance for a good job with prospects.

Parents want their children to do better than they did. Labour must be seen as the party which can be the platform for people to get on.

No one wants an over-arching state; people want a state under their feet, providing them with the security and opportunity to fulfil their potential.

Our policy platform must appeal to voters who are not traditionally Labour, who perhaps voted Labour for the first time in 1997, 2001, or 2005, or who perhaps have never voted Labour.

We have to maintain the coalition of support across the regions and social classes of Britain.

That means winning in Hemel Hempstead as well as Hull, in Dartford as well as Doncaster.

People with two cars, two holidays a year, sizeable mortgages and kids going to university should see Labour as their party of choice.

This appeal will be based on a stable economy and low interest rates.

But it will also be based on a strong society, with good public services we can all rely on, and a sense that individual success need not come at the expense of the weak and vulnerable.

The hallmark of Labour's approach should be passing power to local people and communities.

I have always believed that local communities have the common sense and decency to solve problems and run their own services.

Our fourth term should see greater transfer of assets, power and decision-making to local communities and councils.

I am standing for the Deputy Leadership because I believe I can make a decisive contribution to Labour's success.

I've always been an energetic campaigner, and I will lead the party's efforts to defeat the Tories. I come from a strong Labour background.

My dad was a union shop steward. I was born in Salford and live there still. So I shall be a strong voice for the Labour and trade union movement at the heart of government.

And I will focus on delivering our programme, so that the people who vote for us can trust that we will do what we say we will do.

This contest is a great opportunity for Labour to showcase our talent and ideas. I am sure we will come out of it stronger.

Hazel Blears MP

Let us know what you think.

The Politics Show Sunday 04 March 2007 at 12:00 GMT on BBC One.

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