Lots of people are asking me for my advice on the Labour leadership contest - and who we want as our next Labour Prime Minister - so my advice is simple: vote for Yvette Cooper for leader, and Tom Watson as deputy.
The Labour leadership is a tough job: it needs radicalism, new ideas, experience - and the ability to unite the country.
Because lets be blunt about it: unless we can win back the seats we lost to the Tories, we can’t win a majority in Parliament.
And the Labour Party was created to create a way for good people TO ACTUALLY RUN THE COUNTRY.
If we don’t have a Labour government in Downing Street, we can’t change the lives of people in Hodge Hill - who desperately need a Labour government.
So ask yourself this before you vote: which Labour candidate do you believe can stand on the steps of No 10 Downing Street, and then get down to the hard graft of running the country.
I’ve known the leadership candidates in this race, for nearly 20 years – and that's why I'm backing Yvette Cooper and Tom Watson. They’ll be a brilliant team.
Yvette has already proved, in Government and in Opposition that she has what it takes to take on the Tories.
Yvette is setting the policy debate - the credible candidate for Prime Minister
Yvette knows our message in the last election was too narrow. She’s the candidate focused on the future - already she has outlined proposals to increase childcare, to build more homes and tackle shameful levels of child poverty - and crucially has the plan to create two million new high-skilled manufacturing jobs.
You can hear more about Yvette's plan for the Labour Party here: www.yvetteforlabour.co.uk
Yvette will nail Tory myths on the economy
Yvette has nailed the Tory myth of supposed Labour overspending in Government. Given the economy is a central issue for every election, Yvette is the candidate who understands how vital our economic credibility is to winning in 2020.
The candidate who can win
I passionately believe that we need a leader that can unite our party, then win in 2020. We cannot afford to vote for the candidate of our comfort zone - we need to back the person that can deliver the Labour Government that our country so desperately needs. Yvette is that person.
Tom Watson for Deputy Leader
Of course you will also be voting for the next Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.
For me the choice is easy – I will be voting for Tom Watson. I am backing Tom because he will rebuild our party from the grassroots up. We’ve suffered a defeat and Tom is the man to help us rebuild, he is a formidable campaigner and will help us connect with millions of new voters. I saw his legendary organising skills first hand when he helped run my by-election campaign to become Hodge Hill’s MP in 2004.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to discuss my choices or just share your thoughts.
Member of Parliament for Birmingham Hodge Hill
PS - If you are giving your first preference to another candidate, please consider voting for Yvette or Tom with your second preference - it really could make all the difference.
If you would like to get involved with Yvette's campaign you can find more details here: www.yvetteforlabour.co.uk