2020 was a terrible year. Thousands of people were taken by this awful virus, thousands of businesses were shut and thousands lost their jobs. It was a year like no other and, like millions of you, I was glad to see the back of it.
Our great hope is the roll-out of the vaccine. We were the first in the world to get the vaccine and I want us to be the first in the world to be vaccinated.
I want the Government to throw everything it can at this, harnessing the extraordinary talents of our NHS so we can be vaccinating at least two million Brits a week by the end of the month.
If we get the vaccine right, then we can defeat this virus and focus on the priorities of the British people.
In 2021, securing our economy is my number one priority.
I will be leading a Labour Party that is fighting to secure our economy so that we can help millions of families who are struggling.
We need to be supporting businesses so that they can reopen and start trading again, and I want to see an economy that is growing in every part of our country.
A growing economy can allow us to invest in the communities that have been let down by ten years of Conservative Government and create hundreds of thousands of new, secure, well-paid jobs.
It’s not enough to create jobs in the cities, we need to be creating jobs in every town in our country to give opportunity for all.
But we know securing our economy is only the first challenge. We must protect our amazing NHS too. My wife works in the NHS and I know the extraordinary sacrifices our health workers have made in the past 12 months to keep us safe.
We must not forget those sacrifices. We need to ensure our key workers are properly paid and that the NHS not only has the support it needs to fight Covid but also to cut hospital waiting lists that have soared over recent years.
And this must be the year we rebuild our country. Tory incompetence is holding Britain back. We have one of the worst Covid death tolls in Europe and the worst recession of any major economy.
We are just three days into 2021 and we’ve already had a chaotic last-minute U-turn on schools. Confusion reigns among parents, teachers and pupils over who will be back in school tomorrow and who won’t.
Boris Johnson has been found out. A Prime Minister without a plan who has dithered, delayed, overpromised and underdelivered. Britain deserves better.
I want our health and education systems to be the envy of the world, our businesses to be selling across the globe and our town centres to be a place of pride.
I want to end the cronyism in Westminster and have a Government that is giving our key workers a pay rise, not wasting billions on dodgy contracts.
This year, we must deliver on the priorities of the British people.
We must secure our economy, protect our NHS and rebuild our country.
We must start on the journey of making Britain the best place to grow up in and the best place to grow old in.