Alistair Darling will be a difficult act to follow but with hard work and a team effort I am confident that we can keep this seat Labour and help to evict David Cameron from Downing Street.
I'd like to reiterate my thanks to the many members who I spoke to over the selection process, we have a great mix of talent and enthusiasm throughout the constituency, and to everyone who took part in yesterday's final hustings meeting.
I also want to record my thanks and best wishes to the other candidates, who all ran impressive campaigns and will continue to contribute to Labour's cause.
The meeting itself was pretty nerve wracking, hustings always are, but there was a great turn out and a good atmosphere. After 5 minute speeches from each candidate we took questions from the floor and then the business concluded and ballot papers were issued (to add to the postal votes already submitted).
After a nervous wait, I was delighted to be declared as the successful candidate.
Photos and phone calls followed and then a positive avalanche of texts and tweets and, - eek ! - I'm already being followed by the Labour Whips office at Westminster!
Very grateful for all the messages of congratulations and support and its been a busy day today talking to party colleagues and starting to make plans.
I'll do my best to update the blog regularly although I am expecting to be quite busy in the next few months !!