It’s good to see that more people participated in last week’s General Election than in the recent past. More people registered to vote and the turnout for the General Election here is growing from 69.1% in 2010 to 70% in 2015 and 75.8% last week.
I am pleased that many more people are getting actively involved in our precious democracy too and am grateful to the enthusiastic team of local Conservative campaign volunteers. Despite the tactics deployed against me by an aggressive minority of keyboard bullies and poster defacers, whose intimidation seeks to undermine our democratic process, I am pleased that more people voted for me last week than the previous two General Elections. I am looking forward to continuing my work for all my constituents, irrespective of who they voted for. It is a great honour to be the local MP for this great constituency.
The General Election campaign, like the Referendum campaign, highlighted divisions across the UK. Gaps that need to be closed. From the many conversations or email exchanges I have had with local people, listening to their concerns, I know that there is more that unites us than divides us. I am confident that this community shares my passion and determination to face up to the challenges and opportunities we all face and build a stronger, fairer society that works for everyone.
While the Government does not have the majority it hoped for, it does have the ability and resolve to lead our nation through the Brexit negotiations that begin in a few days time. As I said on election night, I will be working hard to build bridges across the political divide, to find the common ground for the best Brexit and bring the country together with a shared vision of a united Britain.
First published in the West Briton 14/06/17