Tessa Jowell's speech to Labour Party Conference

25 September 2011

Get in touch with Tessa Jowell on twitter here

Tessa Jowell- CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY -

 
Conference, I think I speak for all of us when I say how proud we are to be here in Liverpool, the 2008 City of Culture, to celebrate London as an Olympic city in 2012.

But of course it's not just a celebration for London - but a celebration for the whole of the UK.

Because the Olympics will be held in the largest new urban park in Europe.

Built in East London by businesses all around the UK.

More than 1,000 contracts nationwide.

40,000 jobs just in the Olympic Park, apprenticeships across the country.

And just look at the Olympic Stadium.

The concrete from Essex.

The steel from Bolton.

The seats from Luton.

And the turf from Scunthorpe.

Conference, these Games will change the geography of London.

A new cultural, commercial and sporting quarter in East London.

Fulfilling the promise that we made when we bid to host the Games, when we were in Government.

60 years of regeneration in just six.

It's an achievement of which we can all be proud.

Completed on time and under budget.

So 2012 will see the Olympics and the Paralympics, and it will also see the celebrations of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

But before that… 

we have big elections for the GLA and the Mayor of London.

A big Labour-Tory battle.

Londoners face the double whammy of a Tory Mayor and a Tory-led Government.

The people of London live with what this means

     That it's the Tories that put up their tube fares.
     That it's the Tories that break their promises on the police.
     And that it's the Tories that place the economy at risk - by playing politics with jobs and growth

London's first line of defence is our Labour members of the GLA, and we're so proud of you all:

The Leader of the Group, Len Duvall

Jennette Arnold

John Biggs

Joanne McCartney

Navin Shah

Nicky Gavron

Murad Qureshi

And of course the person we hope will be the next deputy Mayor, Val Shawcross.

Standing up for what Labour did - and what London Labour has to do.

Just remember what Ken oversaw as Mayor.

The biggest investment in public transport since the Second World War.

Neighbourhood police teams in every ward.

And, with Tony Blair and me - an Olympic moment and Olympic legacy that will change London forever.

Ken, as we remember your achievements and the challenges ahead, we must make sure that the contest next May will not be just a contest of celebrity.

It must be a campaign about who will be the most effective leader, the most effective Mayor of London during these most difficult of times.

A campaign about who understands the lives of real Londoners.

The millions of people who never see their face in the diary pages of the Evening Standard or Hello Magazine - but day in day out, work hard, play by the rules and just want to get on.

This is Ken's city and those people are Ken's Londoners.

These are the people who are counting on the Mayor to get things done for them - so that they can do more for themselves.

Because it's competence not celebrity that gets young people back to work.

Competence not celebrity that will build them new homes.

Competence not celebrity that will keep their tube fares down.

They don't need a TV personality - but they do need a mayor that realises this is the largest job in public service outside No 10 Downing Street.

With the talent, ambition and drive to build a better future for London.

London is a Labour City

And Ken, we are with you.

Every activist will be working tirelessly to return a Labour GLA and elect you as mayor.

But we all know that beating Boris Johnson will be a whole lot tougher.

We shouldn't underestimate how the Olympics will give him the advantage of incumbency. 

Turning this around will be a real challenge.

Ken knows that. He's up for that fight.

Our activists, who chose him so overwhelmingly, know that too.

And that's why, Conference, we are today united in our determination and our passion to win this campaign.

So this week, each and every one of you, make a pledge to help Ken win. 

Our campaign will be led from the grassroots, spread through word of mouth.

So get on yourken.org and pledge how you can get involved.

Lead the campaign in your ward or take responsibility for your street.

And you can see how it's done here.

So Conference, so that Londoners, across our city, can finish the sentence - 'I'm voting for Ken because'

I'm proud to introduce

Our candidate

The future Mayor of London

Ken Livingstone.