I have never taken the trust you placed in me lightly.

I know that each word I speak, each action I take, each vote I cast will impact on your lives.

You asked me to protect you, provide for you, open windows to a better world and open doors to a secure future; for this is the Labour way.

Yet today I stand at the foot of a mountain reaching ever higher as the crises our nation are confronting are piling up – health, economic, climate, trade and so much more.

The path ahead is more precarious than could ever have been imagined, each strata more austere and the risks far greater.

It is no secret that we are being led to a precipice by this Government.

It is your aspiration that tells me I must scale the challenges before us.

The daily Government disasters expose us to new risks and the Labour benches are forever seeking new solutions.

Each crisis avoidable, each shattering the lives of so many, but each serving as a reminder of why politics matters.

In the last few days, the Government has published a bill undermining the Good Friday Agreement which has given us relative peace and stability in Northern Ireland for over 20 years.

The Internal Market Bill should strengthen the Union of the United Kingdom.

Instead it has weakened our relationships with countries across the world, as it breaches international law and threatens the trust necessary to secure future trade deals.

Trade deals brings jobs; jobs brings income; and our income determines the quality of life we live.

An Internal Market Bill is necessary to ensure that we continue to trade evenly across the UK having left the EU.

But where Labour would have raised standards to secure the best across all four nations, respecting the power devolved to communities, the Prime Minister has handed all the power to himself to determine the priorities of each nation of the United Kingdom in his race to the bottom.

It is this embattled Prime Minister who promised this country that his 'oven ready' deal was ready.

It is now apparent that he forgot to switch on the oven after the election.

The EU have slated his conduct, five former past prime ministers have condemned his actions, and Labour has exposed his antics as we try and salvage our economy on the cusp of collapse.

If this Bill were not enough, it comes in a week where the Covid-19 pandemic has deepened once more.

Infection rates are rising and our economy is crashing.

This disaster has been taken to new heights as we are no longer able to test and trace to decipher what is really going on.

The latest meltdown has been in the privatised testing service.

This has resulted in many York residents being sent all over the country for Covid-19 tests, while ill, only to be refused a test on arrival, as the testing centre at Poppleton Park and Ride sits virtually empty.

All because no-one secured the future of the laboratories.

It’s a complete mess.

As we head into winter, Labour just wants everyone to be safe.

We are calling for the testing system to be urgently fixed.

We want local walk in test centres made available in the city and contact tracing placed in the hands of local Directors of Public Health, rather than SERCO, so with precision understanding of the local community the virus can be successfully tracked.

We are also calling on all those eligible to ensure their vaccinations are up to date, in anticipation that we could be facing a challenging season ahead.

Our focus is also turning to all those who have not received the treatments they need to address so many other health concerns.

The NHS backlog is immense, the support in the community for those experiencing challenges to their mental wellbeing is also ever growing and all our health and care staff who have served us with such dedication these last few months need significant support as we move to this next phase.

It is for this reason, that I will climb that mountain.