This coming together of people wanting to thank Her Majesty for 70 years of devoted service, and mark this historic achievement, was certainly a unique and momentous occasion, and I am so pleased that I could be a part of it.
Many of you will have followed the events of Monday closely – a vote was called on whether Boris Johnson should remain leader of the Conservative Party, and indeed this country.
I made my support for Boris clear on Monday, as did the majority of my colleagues.
Faced with the unprecedented circumstances of the last few years Boris has consistently got the big calls right – spearheading the fastest and world leading vaccine rollout in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, leading the West’s response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and getting Brexit done – something which people in Hartlepool voted overwhelmingly in favour of.
Over the past weeks and months, I have spoken to many Hartlepudlians – in surgery appointments; while on visits to local businesses; on the streets across our town – the resounding message to me from constituents was yes, Boris has made mistakes, but he is still the right man for the job, and certainly the only Prime Minister in recently history to push forward the priorities of Hartlepool.
This Conservative Government, fronted by Boris Johnson has, in the last few years: invested £25 million in Hartlepool through the Town Fund Deal; committed £12 million via the devolved authority to reopen our train station’s second platform as well as adding an additional hourly service between Middlesbrough and Newcastle; and named Hartlepool as one of eight Designated Nuclear Sites, opening the door to more investment and jobs – Boris cares about Hartlepool and increasing opportunity for those in the Tees Valley, and I firmly believe this is why people in our region backed him in 2019, and again during my election last year.
I know that not all of you will agree with me on this issue, and I know this is something which people on all sides feel very strongly about, but it is only right that I am honest with you about the reasons why I voted the way that I did.