I'd like to start by saying thank you to everyone in the North West who voted for us, to every party activist who helped us, to every person who endorsed us, people from other parties who supported us and to those who were instrumental in this campaign. You all know who you are.
There is nothing I can say or do now to change the result. What I can say is that it is personally very tough to take. Our analysis and tactics were spot on. Our campaign was excellent and at an intensity we've never managed before. But as the votes were counted the bottom line was that 5000 more people in the North West voted for the BNP than for the Greens.
Nick Griffin will now (apparently) represent me and millions of others here in the North West. For the next five years, both here and in the Yorkshire and Humberside region, the BNP will have European funding to build their party and organisation. For those of us in the North of England, this poses a formidable challenge. Right now I'm leaving my comments on where we go from here for a future date.
So I've changed my son's nappy this morning. I've gone in and chatted to my local newsagent, and I'm doing a radio interview for my employer, Parentline Plus at 10.30am. I'll be going out with my wife and son for lunch in a local cafe and we are going to the park this afternoon if the weather holds out.
Many, many of you have sent personal messages via facebook, email, text or on my phone. I won't be able to respond to them all but I am very grateful for your thoughts. I have three days of work ahead of me this week and probably some time to reflect on Friday, but I'll be largely quiet until then - my wife and son deserve some time and attention because the campaign has been tough on all of us.
I'm sorry we didn't get the result we deserved, but we'll pick ourselves up and move things along soon. There are highlights elsewhere in the country that we should be proud of, and our target constituencies will need our help, particularly if Brown departs and we have an October election.
A victory in the General Election is the best cure for what feels like a grim Euro Election hangover this morning.