New Peterborough MP Paul Bristow promises to ‘deliver on your trust’ in first PT column

It is a huge honour to have been elected as the new Member of Parliament for Peterborough. I’m doubly proud because this city is the place where I grew up and have made my home, writes Paul Bristow in his first Westminster Life column for the Peterborough Telegraph.

Saturday, 21st December 2019, 5:00 am
Paul Bristow giving his victory speech

I will do everything I can to honour the confidence placed in me. That starts by getting Brexit done.

The Conservative majority means the deadlock in Parliament has been broken. The arguments and delay are over. Tomorrow*, the House of Commons will vote on the Withdrawal Agreement, so we finally leave the EU next month. As your MP, I will do exactly what you elected me to do.

But Brexit is only the beginning of our work. Today, there is a new Queen’s Speech, setting out how this government will turn the priorities and promises of our election campaign into a reality.

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Many voted Conservative for the first time at this election. That was true in the north of the country and it was true in Peterborough. I don’t take any of the 22,334 votes that I got for granted. As the Prime Minister rightly said, we are here to serve and must repay your trust.

So, there will be more funding and investment in the NHS. There will be more funding and better standards in schools. There will be massive investment in transport infrastructure. It won’t be irresponsible spending on the never-never, which caused the last financial mess – instead, it will follow a clear, quantified case for action.

I will be pressing hard for dualling the A47 around Eye and Thorney. I’m committed to getting Peterborough the extra police officers that we need. Fly-tipping and antisocial behaviour are at the top of my list of local problems.

However, I hope that you will allow me a little leeway over Christmas itself. That’s not just because it’s a time to spend with my family, after six weeks of campaigning in the wet, cold and dark. Nor because it will take a few weeks to get my office up and running. It’s also because my family has just expanded by one, with the birth of my second daughter.

It really was a week to remember in every sense, though rather short on sleep.

It was a campaign to remember too. One of my highlights was the Salaam Radio hustings. I’ve said before that one of the best things about the Peterborough Conservatives is that we are multi-faith and truly representative of our city. Nevertheless, that hasn’t always been reflected in our support.

This time, the sense that the Labour Party had taken too many people’s votes for granted cut through. Labour’s actual plans to tax inheritances, tax small businesses and tax food were bad for everyone. And everyone noticed.

I have never felt more positive about our future, as a city and as a country.

After the division and rancour of recent years, a process of healing can begin. After delay and uncertainty, businesses can invest and the economy can grow. After a defunct Parliament, this fresh one can get on with the job, solidly behind our new government.

Thanks to your vote, it will be a new year of hope and opportunity. For me, it will be a year to deliver on your trust.

Thank you again, and Merry Christmas.

*This column was written for Thursday’s paper.