I am delighted and honoured that the people of Thirsk, Malton & Filey have placed their confidence in me once again. I would like to thank everyone who voted and volunteered in this election, for me or any of the other candidates. I am here, of course, for all the residents of this constituency, whatever their political views and allegiances.
This was an election where two key points dominated the doorstep discussions – the first, of course, Brexit, the second, to some extent connected with the first, a general disillusionment with politics and politicians. Yes, the inability for Parliament to deliver on the result of the referendum, but also the unacceptable, at times disgraceful lack of respect and sometimes vitriolic relationship between politicians and, indeed, between politicians and the media, and the inability and unwillingness for politicians of all party persuasions to work in the national interest. This must change or our political system will be damaged irretrievably. I am pleased to say that the local campaign was conducted in a much better spirit, with all candidates ‘playing the ball’ rather than the person and I pay tribute to their hard work, dedication and willingness to put their head over the parapet.
I will continue to use my best endeavours to achieve a fairer deal for Thirsk, Malton & Filey, a fairer deal for the North and a fairer society. We managed to convince many who don’t traditionally vote Conservative to do so on this occasion, they will not do so again unless we invest in the North of England, the NHS, our schools, our police forces, housing and reduce the need and use of food banks and homelessness.
I believe that Conservative principles best reflect and complement the facts of life; freedom, opportunity, personal responsibility, looking after the less fortunate in society and how powerful they have been in relieving poverty and improving opportunities for all and living standards. What we must do is make sure that our free market principles work more effectively for everyone and that we apply sensible check and balances to level the playing field between consumers, SMEs and large multinational businesses.
Finally, thank you to my wife Nikky and my children who willingly pay the price for my privilege of being your Member of Parliament.