I am hugely grateful to the good people of Yeovil and South Somerset for re-electing me a week ago. Over ten thousand more of you voted for me than when I was first elected in 2015. Across the country though the big winner was democracy. I am proud of the role that we in the Yeovil constituency have played in sending a very clear message to our elected officials and our institutions of Government. Votes matter and the Government and politicians are the servants of the people.
I also thank my fellow candidates in this seat for running decent campaigns and showing good humour throughout. The few weeks of an election campaign can seem like a very long time but it is also over in a flash. My door will always be open to other political parties here who want to raise issues and contribute to the future success of our area. My thanks also go to all those who helped run a smooth and efficient election and to District Council Chief Executive Alex Parmley for his part in that.
Since being elected in 2015 my priority has always been to get the best interests of Somerset onto the agenda in 10 Downing Street, in the chamber of the House of Commons and in the various committees and groups that make up Parliament. My promise to you is that I will redouble my efforts in doing so. Fairer funding for our rural schools, more Police on our streets and massive road and rail upgrades are already on the way.
Boris Johnson is passionate about the idea that no area is left behind and that talent and potential is spread evenly across the country. Not a day should go by when we don’t remember that principle, whether it is building on our great success with apprenticeships and career opportunities or investing in local research and development projects. We will help our town centres and High Streets with fairer business rates and funding initiatives to help with regeneration projects. The NHS is to receive its biggest cash boost for a generation.
The win on a local and national level brings a responsibility to deliver and I am looking forward to playing my part in that. We will get Brexit done and I will help with the negotiations in my role as Deputy President of the Board of Trade.
I would not be where I am without the support and friendship of a brilliant group of volunteers here who braved the weather to help me during the election campaign. I also have the support of a wonderful family for which I am so grateful as it is not always easy for them. Finally I would like to echo the words of the Prime Minister in saying that I will work hard not only to repay the trust for those who did vote for me and a Conservative Government, but also to earn the trust of those who voted for another party or maybe voted to stay in the EU. It’s time to come together.