I am often asked, particularly by school children when I visit them or they come to Westminster, whether I like being an MP. I always give the same answer: “Yes, I love 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’m living my dream. Thank you.
Each morning, I look forward to whatever the day may bring. The absolutely best thing about my job is the people. I love meeting folk with different ideas, experiences and expertise. Some tell me their problems, some want 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’s great. I love it that locals can 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 have held 650 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 this year.
That’s why I am standing for Parliament again next May. I’d relish the chance to serve you, your neighbours and friends again. There’s lots more to do. I’d like to continue doing the job I love, so I’ll be asking you to vote for me at the General Election.