I am delighted the people of South Shropshire have placed their trust in me, and voted to re-elect me to represent the Ludlow Constituency in Parliament for the fourth time. After a short break for the campaign, I am pleased to be able to resume my regular column to update readers on my work.
The result for the Ludlow Constituency seems both the highest number of votes for a candidate in the seat's history (31,433 or 62.9% of votes cast) and a record majority (19,286).
I also offer my commiserations to the other candidates. It takes courage to stand for Parliament for any party, asking others to pass judgement on you, so I congratulate them all for their hard work and for a well fought campaign.
Obviously, the result nationally was not what we had hoped for, but the Conservatives increased our vote share by 5.5% to 42.4% of the vote - the highest share for the Conservative Party since 1983. We also secured the highest number of votes for any party since 1992.
We know the challenges our country faces over the next few years, the most crucial of which are the Brexit negotiations. The Government will look for support from the DUP to help get a deal that is in the best interests of the United Kingdom, and consensus on economic and security issues, but this does not mean we will agree on everything.
My priority will continue to be championing the needs of the Ludlow Constituency in Westminster, including supporting steps to increase investment in our local health service, schools and social care, and backing businesses to create sustainable secure jobs. I will fight for improving connectivity, through fibre broadband and stronger mobile signal, and support plans to protect the rural economy and environment.
I have also this week been reappointed as Minister of State for Health, and look forward to continuing my work with the Department of Health and the NHS.
As I have for the past 12 years, I will continue to hold my regular local surgeries and help constituents in whatever way I can. If you have an issue you wish to raise, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call my office on 01584 872187. You can also reach me via post at House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.
It has been a tremendous honour to represent our area for the past twelve years, and I look forward to working hard over the course of this Parliament to ensure the views of my constituents are heard in Westminster.