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‘I’m not going to lie’ - No preferential treatment for Norfolk if MP becomes Labour leader

PUBLISHED: 11:17 21 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:22 21 December 2019

General election_ December 2019_St. Andrew's Hall count_Norwich South_Clive Lewis. Picture: Kate Wolstenholme

General election_ December 2019_St. Andrew's Hall count_Norwich South_Clive Lewis. Picture: Kate Wolstenholme

Kate Wolstenholme

Norfolk should not expect any preferential treatment should its only Labour MP become the next leader of the party.

As the party licks its wounds after a disastrous general election result, it is on the lookout for a new leader, with Jeremy Corbyn announcing he will be stepping aside.

And earlier this week, Norwich South MP Clive Lewis confirmed he will be among those competing to be Mr Corbyn's successor.

Mr Lewis, who has been one of the city's two MPs since 2015, announced his candidacy in a column penned for the Guardian on Thursday.

And he said that while he would always have Norfolk's interests at heart, the county should not expect to be given preferential treatment should he find himself leader of the opposition - or even one day prime minister.

He said: "I'm not going to lie and say Norfolk would be given a bigger voice in Westminster if I were leader or prime minister, as I would not be able to show favouritism to any area.

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"However, I would be able to look at some of the big problems that Norfolk faces and address them. I believe what is good for the goose is good for the gander and tackling problems on a national scale would also then have benefits in Norfolk."

Mr Lewis said one of the main issues he will be promoting during his leadership campaign is climate change, which he felt should have been a far greater talking point than it was during the general election.

He said: "I think there is no point in investing large amounts of money in 20th century infrastructure such as new roads - what we need is greener, more sustainable transport investments. Things like rapid transit public transport improvements.

"I think Norfolk is in a really good position to be able to invest in transport fit for the 21st century."

He added that as leader he would be keen to offer greater training to the party's members and activists so they could have greater influence on the direction of the party itself.

Since announcing his candidacy, Mr Lewis's odds with bookmakers to become next leader have drifted inwards - and he is currently among the six most favourite candidates.

MORE: Watch the moment Clive Lewis first hinted at a leadership bid


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