It was a privilege and an honour to have been elected as your MP in 1992. Over the years I have met many of you first as children on visits to schools and then as parents yourselves.
Thank you so much for your letters of support following my announcement that after 41 years I was resigning from the Labour Party. I am sorry for the distress I have caused colleagues in the local party. This was not a decision I took lightly.
My values have not changed and I and the excellent and committed people who work for me will continue to help and support you with your problems.
And I will continue to represent you in the same way I have done for the last 27 years as an MP and before that as a local councillor.
You voted to remain in Europe in the referendum recognising the value of us being part of a single market. I have voted in parliament for those options that could deliver the best possible economic deal for us. I will continue to do so. Remaining in the EU would have given us the best deal. We rely on a sound economy to fund our public services. We need jobs, housing, first class health provision and investment in our children’s education.
From a recent survey of constituents it was clear that young people see their future in Europe and are upset that what was on offer to older generations is no longer there for them. Their view of the world is unlimited by national boundaries. This is the impact of the world wide web.
Brexit will change Britain in a way we cannot imagine for future generations. When I have visited schools I have been very impressed by the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm of our children. They are a credit to their teachers and parents. They will be our asset in the Britain to come .
Today I resigned from the Labour Party. I remain totally committed to continuing to serve my constituents.
My values haven’t changed.
You can read my full statement here or below.
I am Ann Coffey the Member of Parliament for Stockport. A town I have represented for nearly 27 years.
It is a great privilege to be an MP.
My father died a year before I was elected. He would have been proud to see the chance for a better life he had fought to give me, realised in an achievement beyond his dreams. He believed passionately in education. But without the Wilson’s government commitment to providing alternative routes to higher education through expanding places in polytechnics I would not have got a degree.
Hope and determination of an individual is not by itself enough.
I spent 20 years working as a social worker with families but social work cannot be a response to inequality and lack of opportunity.
I joined the Labour Party 41 years ago to elect governments that understood that real opportunity for families only comes when the right policies are in place. I am proud of the achievements of the last Labour government. I thought I would be in the Labour Party for the rest of my life but political parties are not an end in themselves in a parliamentary democracy. The Labour Party has lost sight of this. It is no longer a broad church. Any criticism of the leadership is responded to with abuse and accusations of treachery.
Anti-Semitism is rife and tolerated.
The current leadership have been very successful at changing this party beyond recognition. And in doing so is failing the people who have supported the Labour Party all their lives and who I joined to help.
Loyalty cannot be an end in itself. So I leave the party with great sadness. But in hope that we as an independent group of MP’s can start to change a political system in which people feel they have no voice.
I remain totally committed to continuing to serve my constituents.
My values haven’t changed.
If you would like further information on the Independent Group for Change or to volunteer or donate please visit the website here.
Thank you to Tiff and the rest of the Heaton’s WI for making me this wonderful broach to support The Climate Coalition’s #ShowMeTheLove campaign to highlight the impact of climate change on the people, places and things we love.
As ever, you have my support!