LABOUR'S Faisal Rashid says losing the Warrington South seat was a ‘difficult blow’ to take but confirmed he will remain active in politics.

The former MP, who lost out to Tory Andy Carter in the general election battle, has shared his views with residents in an open letter.

Mr Rashid said: “My first involvement in politics was in 2011, when I became a councillor in Whittle Hall.

“What motivated me then still motivates me now: I wanted to work on behalf of the people of Warrington, a place that had made me and my family so welcome when we decided to make it our home many years ago.

“For 12 months, I was privileged to serve as the Mayor of Warrington.

“As the first ever Muslim to represent Warrington in both a mayoral capacity and as an MP, I feel truly honoured to have been a small part of Warrington’s history.

“I have often said that serving as the MP for Warrington South has been the honour of my life – losing that privilege on December 12 has certainly been a difficult blow to take.

“Being in a position to improve the lives of local people was not one I ever took for granted.

“I will miss the surgeries, school visits, local meetings and constituency work which gave me the chance to help local people and be their voice in Parliament.

“Above all, I come away from this experience not embittered or disdainful, but grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me by the people of Warrington.

“With that said, serious lessons must be learnt from Labour’s defeat at the general election.

“For too long, towns like Warrington have felt abandoned by the political establishment in Westminster.

“I hoped that we could change that at the last election by offering real change, but voters simply did not trust us to deliver it.

“When knocking doors during the election campaign I heard many concerns from constituents that the Labour Party must quickly learn from.

“Often these criticisms were levelled at our leadership or our Brexit position.

“We must show humility in the face of this defeat by listening and learning from our mistakes.

“If we fail to do so, the consequences for the Labour Party, and indeed the future of our country, could be grave.

“As MP, one of the things which inspired me the most was talking to young people in Warrington.

“I believe that politicians should have future generations at the forefront of every decision they make.

“As we enter a new decade, I hope our political leaders can do future generations justice by offering them a bright future and a society that works for everyone.

“To this end, I will continue to be active in politics, to try and shape the future of Warrington in whatever way I can.

“Finally, I want to thank those of you who placed their faith in me over the last two and a half years, in both 2017 and 2019.

“Life under this Government will remain difficult for the poorest and most vulnerable in our community and we must be there to stand up for them when times get tough.

“It has been an absolute privilege to serve the people of Warrington South – I remain as determined as ever in the fight against injustice on behalf of the town I love.”