The consequences of the 2010 election

Politics really keeps you on your toes. You just never know what’s going to happen next. But nothing in my political experience prepared me for the extraordinary events of April and May 2010.
Those events have huge implications for each of us, for Worcestershire, for the country and, as it turned out, for me too.

First I must say once again how grateful I am to the voters of Mid Worcestershire for returning me to Parliament. And I would like to offer a special word of thanks to all my supporters who made the campaign – and the result - possible.

But the national result was not what I had expected or hoped for. My Party fell tantalisingly short of an overall majority. After some of the most dramatic days I have seen in Westminster, the outcome was historic; the first coalition government since the Second World War.

The good news for Worcestershire is that the coalition is committed to doing many of the things I have been campaigning on for years – things like ending the top-down housing targets that have caused so much grief locally, giving Worcestershire’s schools a fairer funding deal, ending the loss of powers to remote regional bodies and stopping the regionalisation of our fire control service.

But worryingly, the new government has discovered that the nation’s finances are in an even worse state than we feared. This will mean some really difficult spending decisions that are likely to affect almost all of us.

David Cameron has invited me to serve under him as Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology. This is a job of real importance to our armed services and the security of the nation.

I want to reassure all my constituents that their concerns will be just as important to me in the future as they have been in the past. Fighting the incinerator at Hartlebury, getting the Droitwich brine baths and the Regal Cinema in Evesham reopened, working for a better local health service, improving our train services, dealing with noise from the M5 - all these and more will remain right at the top of my priorities.

Huge changes may have taken place nationally, and I may have a new role in the government, but my constituents will always come first!


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