Firstly, I hope everyone had a great Christmas and I wish everyone in Ipswich a happy new year! Ipswich is a great place to be at this time of year, our fantastic pubs are alive with merriment and there are so many carol services it’s been impossible for me to even try and get to everyone. I did however get to the St Margaret’s Church carol service which was first class.
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I spent my Christmas morning with the residents of St Elizabeth Hospice where I was made to feel very welcome. I first visited the hospice about three months ago and remember thinking how special a place it was, however this Christmas it really was at another level and it was a pleasure to be there with residents and their families. So much love and warmth.
After a very busy period this festive period have given me a chance to take a breather and take stock. In many respects this has been a very difficult year for the country as a whole and I really hope 2020 is about us moving forwards as a country and really focusing with laser like precision on the issues that matter most to people. I do feel strongly that we remain one of the greatest countries on earth and the next few years need to be about demonstrating this and putting the difficulties of the past couple of years behind us and looking forward to the future with optimism.
As I’ve said before I was truly humbled to have been elected as the Member of Parliament for Ipswich and I’m very excited about the year ahead and what might be achieved here in Ipswich. My view is that it’s a special place to live but there are a number of issues that need resolving and I will be spend next year trying to play my part in doing this.
In many respects the result of just over two weeks ago is still sinking in. But there have been a few incidents that have brought things home to me. One of the key incidents involved a coat hanger. In Parliament there is a cloakroom for Members of Parliament. I was unaware of the existence of the cloak room until my final day in Parliament before my return to Ipswich. I was shown to a cloak hanger that had the label ‘Ipswich’ above it. This is where I hung up my overcoat. The key thing here is that this is not my cloak hanger, it’s the ‘Ipswich’ cloak hanger and my coat will only be hung up there for as long as the people of Ipswich want it to be. This is something that all MP’s should always remember. They are at the behest of their constituents and everything they do in Parliament should be about promoting and fighting for their constituency. Ipswich only has one cloak hanger and it only has one person in Parliament representing it and I will never forget this.
Another interesting piece of detail relating to the cloak hanger is the fact that its next door but one to the Islington North cloak hanger. Unfortunately I cannot guarantee that my relations with the Rt Hon Member for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn) will be quite as cordial as the former Hon Member for Ipswich but I promise to do my best!
I very much look forward to hitting the ground running next month and serving our town to the very best of my ability. Happy new year!