November 2019: News from your local MP
IT'S been a remarkable and unsettling time in politics recently.
My daughter turned five in August, but she has already lived under three prime ministers. I was sixteen before that happened to me.
Obviously there has been one constant theme in politics over these past three years: Brexit.
I know that people feel passionately on all sides about leaving the EU, but as the Member of Parliament for Kingswood, I am committed to honouring the referendum result. We asked the people to vote and said that we would honour the result. In a democracy, politicians shouldn’t get to choose which votes they think they should listen to. As a constituency, Kingswood voted to leave - and it is my duty enact this result.
Since then, both Conservative and Labour MPs voted to trigger Article 50 to leave the EU. We had a General Election in 2017 in which both parties said they would respect the result and vote to leave.
How times have changed. Since then, I’ve voted three times for a deal which would have seen us leave the EU on 29 March this year. Labour, along with other opposition parties, voted that deal down repeatedly, turning against the democratic result of the referendum.
Now we have asked for a General Election twice to resolve the deadlock - to take the issue once again to the people. But despite saying they want a General Election, Labour MPs have voted it down. What a total mess.
Of course, this isn’t the same Labour Party that has previously represented Kingswood. Jo McCarron, the Labour candidate I fought in 2015, has long quit the party to join Change UK, claiming that Corbyn’s Labour Party is an extreme left wing organisation.
Putting party politics aside, we just need to get Brexit done. To deliver on what people in Kingswood voted for. That’s why even though I hope we can get a deal with the EU - and pray that Labour don’t try and thwart it again, even though they claim they are in favour of leaving the EU - we need to leave, deal or no deal.
I hope we can finally get a General Election soon and I can confirm that I will be standing again to be Kingswood’s MP. Let’s break this deadlock in Parliament that is holding the government to ransom and not delivering on the will of the people.
Then finally we can get back to the issues that matter to people. The Government wants to increase schools spending by £14bn over the next three years - the largest ever increase in schools funding. Locally this would mean that in South Gloucestershire we would benefit this year from a five per cent increase in the budget, with the promise of much more to come as we endure every primary school gets £4,000 per pupil and every secondary £5,000 per pupil.