We must work together to bring change

Labour’s new leader Jeremy Corbyn holds one of the country’s most important official posts as leader of the Official Opposition.

Many countries are envious of this position because it keeps ministers on their toes and provides an alternative team of ministers and policies that can take over in an instant.

Given that, I backed Andy Burnham, who came second. It is clear that I disagree with Jeremy.

But there is a big difference between him as a freelance backbencher and now as elected leader.

Sure, he has strong views, but the party has established policies. Changes in policies have to be agreed by our democratic policy process and Jeremy promises he will not issue edicts from above.

I am very pleased that the new collective leadership has confirmed we oppose leaving the European Union – a disaster for the north east. We will stay in NATO, which has long protected the peace and remains vital for our security.

I agree we need more houses so that young people can rent and buy. I hope we highlight the casual callousness of needlessly deep austerity, and better protect and promote the north.

Jeremy will be judged, as any other leader should, by how we recover from two election defeats.

Any party is bigger than one individual.

I will play my part in helping revive Labour as a credible party of government by building on the enthusiasm of the many members who have joined us.