It’s been a frantic and ‘bitty’ week but I want to keep you updated.
After a weekend of bewilderment and ‘thank you’ events for volunteers and helpers on my campaign, I made my first journey to parliament as your MP on Monday. The staff at parliament were incredibly kind and helpful and my ‘buddy’ whisked me from room to room for briefing after briefing on everything from security to HR, from the MP’s code of conduct to IT, and how to use the library. Then I was given a temporary locker, shown the hot-desk area, and taken to the House of Commons Chamber for the first time.
When I walked into the most famous debating chamber in the world the enormous privilege that you have given me finally sunk in. It is a feeling I will never forget and that you should always remind me of. The chamber was empty so I sat there alone for a few minutes thinking of the issues I need to raise and the people who have no voice in society and deserve to be heard in a place like this.
Then I got into trouble for sending my dad a selfie – a member of staff was watching me on a security camera!!
I’m desperate to get the constituency operation up and running so that I can serve people here with efficiency and compassion. My desire to do that has already got me into trouble with the whips! The whips called me to say I was expected in parliament for a group photo of all the new Labour MP’s and Harriet Harman but I wanted to spend the day in Hove getting my office retooled for its new job and beginning to hire staff. So I put Hove and Portslade first and stayed put…and got my first roasting from the whips before parliament has even started! But worth it because my amazing team is coming together and soon I’ll have the amazing operation up and running here that you deserve.
I’ve had over a thousand messages in the last week – thank you all SO much for texting, Facebook Messaging, emailing and calling. My phone actually gave up and crashed on Friday evening – clearly it was as overwhelmed as I was! I’m halfway through responding to your messages and I will be be up to date with all of them by Monday so I’m sorry if you have had a delay in my response.
A nine-year-old girl posted a hand made card through my home letterbox saying ‘Well Done For Winning, Please Work Hard’. Thank you…I will.
What we did together in Hove and Portslade was amazing and has been noticed far and wide. I’m determined to understand better why we won in Hove and Portslade but lost in other parts of the city and right across the South East. If you have any thoughts on this from what you, your friends or family said during the election then I would really love to hear it so please drop me a note with your thoughts.
Tomorrow I’m speaking at a political conference in London and on Monday the formalities of the House of Commons begin. It’s daunting when you walk around the Palace of Westminster among the political beasts that roam its corridors. But whenever I see them I remind myself that you sent me there for a reason – to stick up for Hove and Portslade and the values we campaigned on – and nothing is going to stop me doing that.
The hard work really does start here and I simply can’t wait to get cracking. Have a great weekend. All the best, Peter
PS I was on the Sunday Politics Show last week, here’s a link if you fancy watching (I’m on in the second half): http://www.bbc.co.uk/ / /sunday-politics-south-east-10052015