I am incredibly proud of the British Parliament. It is a fabulous institution that has been the forerunner of so many democracies around the world and it is housed in an iconic and beautiful building; one of the most instantly recognised buildings on the planet.
It is truly a great honour for me to represent you in Parliament and I never forget the responsibility you have placed in me.
This came very much to the forefront towards the end of last year when we had one of the most momentous debates I have ever witnessed. The full day debate on whether or not to extend RAF air strikes to IS/Daesh-held territory in Syria was one of those occasions when everyone taking part knows that the decision will affect every person in the country.
I sat in for nearly the entire debate, just popping out a couple of times, and listened to the hundred or so back bench MPs who spoke. I heard some very impressive and memorable speeches and it was clear that MPs were taking their responsibility very seriously and, in many cases, wrestling with the decision we had to make.
It naturally weighs heavily when you know that the result could put our service men and women in harm’s way.
Whatever your views on the subject – and I know from my correspondence that they were many and varied – we can all rightly be proud that the debate was open, accountable, democratic and taken very seriously indeed. Parliament may not be perfect, but was truly at its best that day.
Words like democracy and freedom are often bandied about and taken for granted, but they have been hard won over hundreds of years and for many people in this world they are still only dreams.
If you’d like to learn more about my work in Parliament, please contact my office to come and visit. I regularly take groups of constituents on a tour of the House of Parliament – usually on a Thursday evening. Call 01442 251126 for details.
Finally, I wish all residents a very happy New Year!