The sense of privilege I have felt as one of your Ministers since 2007 hardly needs stating. But I also want to tell you what an enormous pleasure it has been. In 18 months at the Cabinet Office I would like to think that I have helped our government to think about information in new and better ways. I have tried to be a champion for the digital community, where lie some of our best and brightest talents and much of our nation’s future success.
You are a politician completely dedicated to the service of the public, and a man of the very highest personal integrity. I have seen how the application of courage and commitment to patient, measured intelligence makes good government. As Chancellor of the Exchequer for a decade, you led this country’s economic rebirth. In defiance of world economic cycles, you led us through a period of sustained growth and prosperity which is unprecedented in our history. As Prime Minister you have led the world’s response to the gravest economic crisis it has ever known.
However spitefully your character is traduced and your triumphs degraded by Labour’s enemies, they can never erase these towering achievements to your name. To have had the opportunity to serve the public as one of your Ministers has been an honour, for which I thank you.
As I told you some time ago, though, I feel that the time has come, at the reshuffle, for me to return to the backbenches and to my constituency. The pressure on my young family has been painful and I do not want to ask them to endure it any longer.
I would still like to make a contribution as a campaigner, helping you to lead Labour into the next general election, which I know we both believe Labour can and must win. We both came into politics for the same reasons; a passionate belief in decency, justice and fairness for ordinary people and an equally certain conviction that only Labour has the courage and the competence to make it happen.
That is why I will remain alongside you as we fight and win the next election under your leadership. Though not, with some wistful regret, as a member of your government.