Well the dust is beginning to settle after the campaign! The last week has been really busy as all of us on the team have been trying to get things back up and running again. There’s been some strange moments, like having to clear space in the office so I can do advice surgeries then sitting there surrounded by boxes of leaflets and posters and campaign stuff stacked high! But we’re getting there I promise!
Can I please thank you once again, not only for making me your MP but also for the warmth and kindness that you greeted me and the whole team with throughout the campaign. Seeing all the posters and garden boards really put a spring in our step and really kept us going. By the way, for those of you who amazingly asked for a garden board, the team are making their way around to remove them for you. I’m sorry that it’s taking a little while but they will be with you soon.
Last week I returned to parliament and was sworn in as your MP for the second time. It was an amazing feeling, I can’t tell you how much pride I have in our community and I realise that the massive trust you showed in me by increasing the majority so much is matched by an increase in expectations. I promise I’ll do the only thing I can, and that’s work flat-out here in our community and on behalf of our community, to never duck the big issues, and always, always, be here for you when you need it most.
Thinking of the future and the implications of the recent election, it is clear that the country wants a different approach to Brexit from government and that you have tasked me to protect our community throughout the process. So even before I was sworn in I have met with likeminded MP’s to see how we can work together to empower parliament throughout the Brexit process and do everything we possibly can to shape it in a way that protects what is wonderful about our country and the communities we represent. I’ll keep you posted on this.
And then there’s public services. You told me in the strongest possible terms that you want our community to be heard in the fight to save funding for our schools, and an NHS that is not just surviving but is once again supporting health in our community, GP surgeries, and that hospitals are there for us when we need them and not just when they can fit us in. I hear you and I will act.
I promised in this campaign that I would give voice to young people, even those too young to vote. The passion of young people for a better future for their schools, environment, and the world they will grow-up into was a standout feature of this election and it made me so unbelievably proud of them. Really young kids were coming up to me with strong views on big issues and brilliant questions about the world around us. It is something that I also credit Jeremy Corbyn for as well because this has happened across the country.
On that subject, quite a few people have contacted me asking me about my views about Jeremy and I saw the posts from the previous update where there was heated debate. As our differences have become public in the past I understand why people are curious or want to know more, and some have contacted me demanding I ‘get behind’ him. So let me just say here that I am 100% focussed on what Hove and Portslade needs me to be focussed on – getting Brexit right, saving our schools and getting more investment into our young people’s lives, on the next push for a better rail service, and getting our broken housing market fixed – nothing else. I’m not thinking about anything else, not acting on anything else, and won’t be wasting breath discussing anything else so please don’t force me to! I stand alongside lots of people, stand with people if it helps get problems fixed, but the only people I stand behind are those I represent and that’s our community here in Hove and Portslade. You have given me a job to do and I’m cracking on with it and nothing else!
So, now I’m off to take part in some wonderful ‘Great Get Together’ events to bring neighbours and people together in the spirit embodied by the gorgeous Jo Cox. I hope to see many of you out taking part in this glorious weather. I can’t wait to get outside in my shorts! All the very best, Peter
PS It is taking time to reply to the thousands of messages since the election but I promise I’ll get there before too long!