FORMER Leigh MP Jo Platt who lost her seat in a shock defeat in the general election last month has spoke of her desire to carry on making a difference to people's lives.

Ms Platt was first elected in June 2017 and served for two-and-a-half years before being beaten by the Conservative Party's James Grundy in the election.

She believes her party needs to "win back the heart and minds" of residents who were unable to vote for Labour in December.

The former Wigan Council cabinet member said: "It’s now a month since I lost the general election and the Labour seat in Leigh

"For me, the Christmas break was a welcome distraction to spend much needed time with the family and loved ones.

"A New Year and new beginnings is not only a sentiment for those wanting a fresh start, it’s where our party can start to rebuild through a leadership election and start to win back the hearts and minds of those people who were unable to vote for Labour in December.

"I kicked off my 2017 campaign with a pledge to improve social investment and opportunity for everyone in Leigh and I continued that commitment.

"I am still involved with many community groups and organisations locally.

"You cannot just down tools and walk away – I love our towns too much.

"That work will continue as a former MP and a passionate Labour Party member with a valued stake in the constituency where I live."

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In her time in office Ms Platt was chair for the all-party parliamentary group for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

She said: "My work as chair for ADHD secured commitment from ministers to review how ADHD is supported.

"I intend to carry on my work as a board member for the ADHD Foundation, which is a charity that works in partnership with individuals, families and other agencies, to support people with ADHD.

"As well as being a Labour MP, I am also a committed Co-operative Party member.

"During the last twelve months I have been part of the Greater Manchester Co-operative commission and pleased to announce the launch of a report that enables people and communities to work together to create jobs and sustainable growth for places like Leigh."