I am often asked, particularly by school children when I visit them or they came to Westminster, whether I liked being an MP. I always gave the same answer: “Yes, I loved it”.
I didn’t go to University, but had 30 years at work in a variety of jobs before being elected in 2010. I’d wanted to be an MP from the age of 17, when one spoke at my school. I remember thinking ‘that’s the job for me’. My grandfather often told me “You can change the world, child. Don’t believe anyone who says you can’t”. My father encouraged me, saying “Don’t just shout at the radio; go and do something about it”. So I did. After four elections, I became your MP and I lived my dream. Thank you.
Each morning, I looked forward to whatever the day had in store, no matter how well planned and organised the diary, there were always surprises. The absolutely best thing about the job is the people. I loved meeting folk with different ideas, experiences and expertise. Some told me their problems, some wanted to offer their opinions and then I meet people who just want to talk. I am always happy to stop for a chat – and always learn something! It can take a while to ‘pop to the shop’ as often, I stop to chat, but that was great. I loved that locals could find me and are happy to come up, say “hello” or talk through what bothers them. It’s so important to listen, to seek advice and draw on local expertise and opinions so I’m well-informed when I raise your concerns in Parliament.
In 2010, I promised you I’d be approachable and available for you. That is why I held 700 surgeries in the area and why I accept invitations to attend as many meetings and events as possible. I knew I was keeping my promise when I opened the 22,250th case file in 2015.
With the Conservatives on course for a huge majority, the need for a strong, fair minded opposition in Westminster is more important than ever.
This area needs a strong, independent minded MP who knows the local area, is willing to question authority and stands up for local people.
I’ve done it before and I’m ready to do it again. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. My contact details are here.
Standing up for Somerset