April the 4th 2019 was the day the Newport West by election was held. This was due to the sad death of Paul Flynn our MP of 32 years and who is still greatly missed today. Looking back on the last 12 months I have to say that its been a bit of a whirlwind!
First we had the 6 week campaign prior to the by election which meant Newport West was descended on by politicians of all parties along with the associated media frenzy.
The result was announced in the early hours of the 5th April and on Monday the 8th I found myself on the train to London to take up my new role as Member of Parliament for Newport West.
Its been a busy year!
I entered Parliament at one of the most frenetic and uncertain times in its history. Brexit was brewing and every vote was run on a three line whip meaning all MPs had to be present at each vote. Parliament was full of uncertainty and lots of whispering in corridors. Then Theresay May resigned as Prime Minister and Boris Johnson was installed. He attempted to close down Parliament to avoid scrutiny but was thwarted by the courts. This was followed by the snap election held on December 12th which saw the good people of Newport West asked to go out and vote for the second time in 8 months. Another election campaign held in the dark and the cold and the wet!
Fortunately I was re-elected and returned to Parliament, to a very different atmosphere where the Tories are confident of winning every vote and many new MPs are happy to be seen to be shouting the odds. In many ways the atmosphere was calmer after the December election as the outcome was definite and we all knew in what direction we were heading.
And then came the Corona virus. This pandemic has led to unprecedented measures to try to limit the progress of the disease including the closing down of Parliament for many weeks. This has led to calls to carry out our roles as MPs in a different, virtual way and hopefully this will lead to a more responsive, proactive Parliament in future.
As I reach the first anniversary of my career as an MP people are asking me what the future holds. I have to say, given the tumultuous first 12 months I would like a little period of peace and stability just to catch my breath and to make sure I am doing the job to the satisfaction of the people of Newport West. However I’m not sure that is going to happen any time soon!
I would like to thank everyone in Newport West who has been involved in the two election in the last year and who has taken the trouble to write or email to me. Please keep letting me know what you expect of your MP and I hope to fulfil the role for many years to come.