December 7 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Great Yarmouth received a standing ovation as she left the party conference stage yesterday after delivering a speech which upstaged the shadow chancellor.
Lara Norris, who will fight Conservative Brandon Lewis for his Norfolk seat, described how she burst into tears after a highly personal speech about her road into politics, which followed the keynote address by Labour MP Ed Balls.
The 40-year-old said she heard stories of people struggling to pay for heat and food while campaigning in Yarmouth – a position she had once been in herself – and urged people to become engaged in politics while they were in that position.
She told the EDP: “The cost of living is probably something that I am coming up against most on the doorstep. In Yarmouth households can’t afford heating and food and the basics of life. I have been there so I understand how difficult it is. It is the last time you feel like getting engaged in politics, because you are more worried about where your dinner is going to come from than about delivering the leaflets or doing something in the community, but it is probably the time you most need to do it.
“I know it’s really hard and you haven’t got the money and I know you are knackered working two jobs and you are not eating yourself and the last thing you want to do is join the Labour Party. It seems like saying I will go sky diving. It seems ridiculous, but if you don’t try and change the world you are living in you aren’t going to change that world.”
Mrs Norris, who works for Luton MP Gavin Shuker, said: “I’m going to talk to as many people as possible about the policies that come out of this conference and say a Labour opposition and a Labour government are about things that actually matter to real people.
“Their house, roof over their head, the food in their fridge, the heating that they require, a decent school, a decent hospital and a decent community to live in. We don’t need much more than that. Most people would be happy if that worked.”
She said: “Because both me and my husband work, I eat every day but I have had a time when I haven’t. I wasn’t being paid enough, I was a single parent, I was doing a job and I was going to college and then I was coming home and I had to pay some childcare which I could ill afford, but at least it was subsidised.”
The prospective candidate was watched by shadow ministers Liam Byrne and Rachel Reeves and said Ed Balls, who was behind the stage, appeared after hearing the noise from the reception she received in the conference hall.
She said: “I looked out and everybody was standing up. I got off there as quickly as I could and I just burst into tears. I think I had so much adrenaline and I had so much passion about what I was saying and I really wanted it to make a difference that I just went for it.
“I had a good cry and everybody shook my hand. Last night in Brighton everybody shook my hand. It has all been a bit of a whirlwind,” she added.