With Catherine McKinnell, Newcastle North
With Julie Elliott, Sunderland Central
With Jenny Chapman, Darlington
I am very keen to show my support for the fantastic new women candidates we have across the North East region - they will be a strong voice for the area and a real asset to Parliament.*
On the day the Labour Party was promoting women's issues Cherie visited the North East of England to campaign for three women Parliamentary candidates there who are standing for the first time in the forthcoming election. The Constituencies she visited were Newcastle North with Catherine McKinnell, Sunderland Central with Julie Elliott and Darlington with Jenny Chapman. Cherie wanted to show her support for these three strong new female Labour candidates who are deeply rooted in their communities. At this General Election, Labour is fielding 12 women candidates in the North East region, double the number than in 2005
Whilst in Newcastle North, she had a tour round the wonderful Lemington Centre with Catherine McKinnell, the recently selected candidate for this seat. Catherine is a young local mother, who was born in the constituency, lives in the constituency and is bringing her children up in the constituency. Catherine and Cherie joined in mosaic making with the occupational therapy group, saw the garden and the gym and then met with a group of parents and young children who use the Centre, which was opened in January 2005 to provide space, services and activities for the people of Lemington and the surrounding areas.
Cherie's next stop was Sunderland Central, where Julie Elliott was selected as the candidate in 2008. Julie has lived locally all her life with her children, who went to local schools. She cares passionately about her city and Labour has a very proud record in Sunderland. She accompanied Cherie around Highfield Primary School Surestart Centre, a state of the art integrated educational resource, During the tour they met the centre's Young Parents Group and enjoyed taking part in various activities with the pre-school age children, including the session for toddlers and parents at which the importance of language, communication, socialisation, play and stimulation are emphasised
Finally, Cherie was accompanied by Jenny Chapman to Darlington College, a centre of educational excellence in the heart of the town that had originally been opened by her husband Tony Blair. Jenny is fighting the seat in place of Alan Milburn who is standing down as the local MP and since she worked for him for many years she knows the Constituency very well and hopes to continue Alan's good work for the local community. She maintains she will be accessible and easy to contact as she will always live in Darlington, where she grew up. Jenny is a busy working mum with a strong track record,representing local people as a Councillor.
Cherie summarised her visits with the following words:
"It's great to be here in the North East on the campaign trail. This region will always have a special place in my heart and has given my family a great deal of support over the years. I'm also very keen to show my support for these fantastic new women candidates we have across the region - they will be a strong voice for the area and a real asset to Parliament.
Labour has much to be proud of in the North East and I have thoroughly enjoyed my visits today, which have highlighted how much we have done in the region to support children and families. I know that if Labour is re-elected these efforts will continue."
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