‘Home’ focus remains for Jonathan Reynolds MP

JONATHAN Reynolds insists no matter what lies ahead for him now Labour is in power, what happens at ‘home’ will always top his agenda.

After increasing his majority in the Stalybridge and Hyde constituency to 8,539 at the general election, a front bench role awaits as the Business and Trade Secretary in Sir Keir Starmer’s cabinet.

However, he was adamant his eye will not be taken off what is happening in the area that elected him – that could even help him.

Jonathan Reynolds MP with his team

After receiving 16,320 votes, Mr Reynolds told The Correspondent: “I’ll always be coming home and to be honest, what I want more than anything is a government that better reflects what we need more of in Tameside.

“Over the last 14 years, there’s been a sense of things being taken away from places like Tameside – very significant reductions in budgets for the local authority, public services and I think people are sick of that.

Jonathan Reynolds chats to The Correspondent

“They’re fatigued by that and they want something better. We know the challenges are hard – we’re not inheriting an easy situation here – but I absolutely believe that whether it’s through support for manufacturing jobs or regeneration of town centres, the kind of infrastructure we need like the bypass in Longdendale or getting Mossley train station rebuilt, that’s what we want to deliver.

“And the chance to be not just an MP fighting for that but part of a government delivering that, that’s really exciting.”

Mr Reynolds’ majority grew from 2,946 in 2019 as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer swept into 10 Downing Street.

But while the national picture dominated a national poll, local reaction proved just as key.

He added: “In an election, people are looking at the national picture. Of course they are.

“But if you’re an MP or a candidate, what you want is to be re-elected by your people. I love that bit of the job. I love constituency Fridays and public events.

“It’s a special part of it and when you’re putting yourself out there as a candidate, you know there’s a lot going on – different, challenging issues at the minute – but to have that kind of response from  people and to come from 2019, when the BBC said this constituency might go Conservative, means the absolute world. It really does.

Jonathan Reynolds hugs Joanne Green who he credits for her hard work during his campaign

“I’ve stood so many times, I know from certain streets and certain parts of Tameside what it might mean, if the result’s a little bit more one way or the other.

“I always think of certain streets as a little more bellwether areas, Carrbrook’s a good example of that for instance, but you never know what’s happening with the other parties – are Tory or Green voters voting somewhere different?

“You can see a lot of Liberal Democrats and Green Party people will vote for me as they don’t want a Conservative MP, so I respect and appreciate that a great deal.”

Now he is back in, Mr Reynolds can finally celebrate his wedding anniversary, which fell on Thursday, July 4.

He and wife Claire did manage a celebratory rink in Stalybridge before heading to the Dukinfield count.

And extending his majority even rivals another love of his life, Sunderland AFC, while his ‘dog of the day’ photos during his campaign proved popular.

When asked about how this would compare to guiding his beloved football club to the league on the Football Manager computer game he admits he spends much time on, he said: “To be honest, it’s probably even better than that.

“It’s probably even better than if Sunderland actually won the title – although that would be something different.

“And on ‘dog of the election,’ I’ve two dogs myself, Wilson and Castle – named after two famous Labour politicians, so I’ve got to say those two.

“But I reckon we are the constituency with the most dog owners. We’ve great places to walk them and I always think whenever you see people with dogs, they’re always good people.”

 

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