My Life as a Minister - Droitwich Advertiser Column

In my last column I promised to write more about my life as a minister so I’m beginning by telling you a bit about what I was doing last week, on my first ministerial visit to the USA.
As an MP you get used to travelling between your constituency and London. On this trip, though, which began on Sunday morning and ended the following Saturday morning, my diary seemed even more packed than usual. My six day trip took me to Long Beach, California, Fort Worth, Texas and to the Pentagon in Washington.

In Long Beach I took delivery of the UK’s seventh C-17 Globemaster III for the RAF during a ceremony at Boeing’s final assembly facility. It was a real privilege to be there. The C-17, which provides “strategic lift” – the ability to take large loads to our troops – plays a vital role in support of operations worldwide, especially in Afghanistan.

Then in Fort Worth, I saw the production line of Joint Strike Fighters, the aircraft that, flying from an aircraft carrier, will protect the UK well into the 2050s.

In all three locations, I also met defence manufacturers who are providing vital capability to our armed services.

All this may seem different from my usual update on my constituency work, but, actually, it’s really relevant. That’s because of the significant number of companies in this county that are working in defence.

Because it has a huge local impact many small and medium sized manufacturing enterprises, my ministerial role can bring real benefit to the county. For example, by the time this article is published I will have, once again, met the rocket motor company, Roxel, at Summerfield as both a minister and as their local MP. My double role gives me great pride – and the opportunity to understand what local businesses need to expand and prosper.

Back to Articles