When I heard the results of the by-election announced, I felt a mixture of things. Ecstatic, because this opens an exciting new chapter for me. Impatient, because I’m desperate to get on with the work I’ve been talking about for months. Humbled and grateful that the people of Norwich North have given me the great honour of representing them in parliament. Now the by-election circus has left town, I’m glad to be getting down to the really important job: being a strong champion for the people of Norwich North.
But Friday wasn’t just a victory for me. It wasn’t just a victory for the hundreds of volunteers who gave their time and effort to the campaign, and to whom I owe so much. It was a victory for the thousands of people who voted for a new politics.
Our political system has long had a difficult reputation amongst swathes of the population. It can be seen as an elite club run by too many people who look the same, closed off to those who don’t fit the mould. I’m the latest in a long line of women who have been elected to Parliament, and there have been younger MPs than me in the past. But I hope that people look at me – a 27 year-old woman about to take her place on the green benches – and think ‘I can do that too.’