This Wednesday the New Labour MP for South Shields Emma Lewell-Buck made her first speech in the House of Commons chamber, speaking about the town’s proud history and the importance of funding for the arts.
Speaking in Parliament for the first time, Emma told the House: “I am deeply honoured not only to have been chosen by the people of South Shields to represent them as their Member of Parliament, but to be the first woman to do so.”
Emma used her Maiden Speech as an opportunity to highlight Shields’ strong sense of community, describing it as “a town with a proud history of political organisation, of vibrant community and trade union activity. It is a town that knows the dignity and reward that work brings and understands the duty that we each have to provide not just for ourselves and our families, but also for the world around us.”
“I hope that my contribution to the House will reflect those virtues and do credit to the community I represent.”
Her speech took place during a debate about the arts, and she took the opportunity to talk about the exciting £100m regeneration of Shields town centre currently underway, as well as advertising existing attractions like the South Shields museum and the work of the Customs House arts centre.
Emma also paid tribute to her predecessor David Miliband, who she said was “highly regarded by the local community, not least for presiding over the dramatic transformation of our schools.”
She promised to be a representative that all of Shields could be proud of:
“I know that I am only one person, but I am the voice for everyone in my constituency. I will make sure that those who voted for me are proud that they did. I will try to win the confidence of not only those who did not vote for me, but the people who did not vote at all. I will work to give them confidence not just in me, but in this House.”