JO CHURCHILL: It’s been a whirlwind start for me
So, post May the 7th I am privileged to be one of the 330 Conservative MPs making up part of what is a historically different House of Commons.
With 650 MPs overall, there has been a quantum shift with only eight Liberals and some 56 Scottish nationalists joining from north of the border. There is much being made of the troika that is the one Conservative, Labour and Liberal MP in Scotland. The House has been as boisterous as ever. There will be disagreements, but it is my hope that working for the benefit of everybody in Britain takes precedence.
The first three weeks have been a whirl of administration, formalities and procedure; from the practicalities of being assigned an office (which I have had for just two days now) and recruiting staff, to the pride of being sworn in as a new Member in the Chamber.
The business of parliament starts now post the state opening with all its splendour, pageantry and tradition. The Queen - who is a shining example of commitment to public service - delivered the Gracious Address on Wednesday in the House of Lords as Members stood and listened. We had been summoned by Her Majesty’s representative, ‘Black Rod’, who, as tradition dictates struck the Commons’ door three times - a different experience when sat behind the door that is being rapped!
Constituency work started on the 8th, allowing me to focus fully on local needs and ensure I use the time I am in Westminster to be a forceful local advocate. My first three weeks has seen me attending local functions and holding surgeries. Talking to businesses, schools and charities has been a continuation of the last six months but now as MP for the Bury St Edmunds constituency I am able to ask questions of those who can deliver answers.
In addition I have been able to take up invitations to productions put on by our young students and a concert by the wonderful Suffolk Philharmonic; interestingly we are the only county to boast of its own orchestra. A visit to the Suffolk Show allowed me to listen to other voices expressing concern and delight about issues from the farming, wildlife and business communities; luckily the sun shone for both days ensuring a fantastic turnout.
Doing things for ourselves, equality of opportunity and fair representation sits at the heart of my values and in the 800th year since the signing of the Magna Carta it is more pertinent than ever. I am passionate about democracy and ensuring that it serves us all. The importance of it being accessible cannot be overestimated.
Therefore if any school or organisation wishes to engage with me either in the constituency or come to London to see the seat of democracy that this year celebrates its 750th anniversary, please do not hesitate to contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org; it will be our pleasure to arrange for a visit. This is also the first point of call for information and enquiries.
I will be holding regular surgeries up and down the constituency and the details will be on www.jochurchill.org.uk