I feel very lucky. What an honour and privilege this is – thank you for sending me here. I will admit – there was huge personal pride watching my mother well up at the sight of me swearing the oath to become an MP. But that quickly dissipated under the huge sense of responsibility I feel now to do the best job I can. To sum up the first few days? A mixture of first day at school and first day of a new job. Lots of new faces to learn, lots of trying to look like I know where I’m going (which I never do – as Parliament is spread over 8 acres and has over 1,100 rooms), and lots of manic activity trying to get my office up and running.
Whisper it, but most MPs are just ordinary people. Most of the time we talk about ordinary things. Whilst watching a debate in the Chamber, I found myself chatting away to Boris Johnson. Were we discussing Syria? Iraq? Trump? No – we talked about Arsenal, Hertfordshire, and how to deal with young kids. On my first day, I was introduced to the Prime Minister at an event in Downing Street. Nervously, I started gabbling incoherently about small businesses like a nervous teenager trying to ask a girl out, and ended up coughing up half my drink on her – very embarrassing. But she was very friendly, and moved the conversation onto safer (and drier!) ground talking about our families.
I have been given a lot of advice since I began. For example: “Pace yourself…this place is a marathon, not a sprint”…”Keep an eye out for the jerk chicken in the restaurant – you will put on weight”…”Try not to work on Sundays – or your wife will hate you and your kids won’t know you”…and much more.
Exciting though everything is, I am acutely aware of why I’m here. My first duty will always be to you, my constituents – regardless of whether or not you voted for me – and I am busy trying to get on top of casework, and working out how to hold Government to account on your behalf. I’m already filling up my Fridays and Saturdays (when Parliament is away) with events back home in Herts – we’re in the process of moving into a small village outside Hitchin – supporting charities, fetes, hospitals, schools and the like. I am committed to doing a great job for you. I look forward to working for you, and with you, in the weeks, months and years ahead.