Thank you to all of those who sent in such kind messages in the last few days.
I have been so proud and honoured to represent Glasgow North West and Glasgow Anniesland since 2000. The honour was just as great in 2000 to be elected, as it was right up until May 7th.
From visiting the communities groups in the constituency, to sitting on the green benches holding the Government (of whichever party) to account, I never forgot the people that put me there; to fight for them, to fight for their interests.
I stood up against energy companies in their relentless drive for profit and to make the companies work for the consumers. I stood up for the blind, and forced the Labour Government of the day to recognise them when considering Disability Living Allowance. I stood up for the workers in my constituency, and fought to keep jobs here. And over the years, I hope I’ve been able to help the thousands of people who came to me in their hour of need.
Representing those people is an honour I will never forget. And I wish my successor the best of luck in the years ahead. To be a Member of Parliament is an incredible privilege, and no-one should ever forget that. While politics can be a place of petty games and arguments, it can also be a place where people come together to change lives, to make our communities, our country and our world a better place to live.
I want to thank the thousands of people who have given me their support, in each election and between elections as well.
Unfortunately, the people of Scotland chose not to re-elect me or most of my colleagues across the country. In this election, they did not place their faith and trust in the Labour Party.
The Labour Party has a long way to go to rebuild, but I believe that one day, we will do it. The Scottish Labour Party will, again, be good enough and strong enough for the people of Scotland to believe in.
Because I believe we have to.
There is a still a job to do. When working men and women feel that nothing they do makes a difference, there is work still to do. When single parents have to struggle put food on the table and keep a decent, well paid job, there is still work to do. When pensioners are struggling to heat their homes, there is a still a job to do. And when hundreds of thousands of people have to wait for a phone call to find out whether they are working that day, there is a still a job to do.
In the weeks, months and years ahead, that’s the debate the Labour Party must have.
I went into politics to build a better future for my children, and my grandchildren. The struggle will always go on, and that journey will continue now without me.
Thank you for the chance to serve.