Today is Jack Dromey’s funeral and I wanted to take the opportunity to share just how grateful I am to Jack for his support since becoming an MP.
When I was first elected in 2015, Jack was the Shadow Minister for Policing. I was still a relatively new MP when I had to call 999 from a police car to call for back-up for the single-crewed Police officer I was shadowing, when a routine vehicle stop turned ugly. That incident started the Protect the Protectors campaign and without Jack’s guidance, support and insight, it wouldn’t have got off the ground.
I remember him taking me to one side at one of the drop-ins we hosted with the Police Federation for fellow MPs to show their support, and him telling me that what I was doing was really important work. He explained that he had been on his own ‘journey with the police’ when he was younger but that it was essential that the Police knew that we understood the challenges that they face.
It wasn’t until I read Harriet’s book that I got a better understanding of Jack’s ‘journey’ and it only gave me a greater admiration for him! His work on Policing throughout his career and the attentiveness he would also show to anyone sharing their experiences is what set Jack apart and he was very much respected by the frontline and senior offices alike for it.
But it was Jack’s personal advice when I announced that I was expecting a baby which will stay with me the most. ‘Nothing will quite prepare you for both the exhaustion and the elation of a new baby’ he told me. ‘The exhaustion when you have to get up with them for the third time in the middle of the night. But the elation of when you go in and they hold your finger or smile back at you’ he said. And as always, he was entirely right.
Jack achieved so much as an MP and as we say goodbye, I wanted to thank him for his service to the Labour movement and to the constituents he served so attentively. I am truly grateful that he would always take the time to let me know if he thought that I was doing a good job, and would offer his insight and experience where he could. This was something that he did for so many of us, particularly when we were just starting out in politics.
Today, I am thinking of Jack’s family, Harriet and their children, but I am also reflecting on what an incredible legacy Jack leaves behind.
Thank you Jack, for everything.