Monday, 31 May 2010
Sunday, 30 May 2010
Today on sunday went to the Haydon Point to Point at Hexham racecourse - a great day but chilly. Off to the County Show tomorrow
Friday, 28 May 2010
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Home on the very early train and straight down to the Mart in Hexham where there was an incredible display both in and outside the Mart of all matters "beef". The orgainsers deserve great credit; we had entrants from as far afield as Devon.
A great set of trade stands were set up both inside and out. My host was Edward Heslop, who knows beef cattle inside out.
A good day was had by one and all
Good piece in the local paper about my meeting with the head of the NFU in London last week http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk/news/news-at-a-glance/nfu-gathers-support-from-new-batch-of-mps-1.713805?referrerPath=news
Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Am off to Hexham very early tomorrow morning for the Beef Fair
Also sat in the chamber for part of the Foreign and Defence debate; good maiden speech by Colonel Bob Stewart - who is a welcome addition to the house; he will speak his mind and do it with vigour
What a day: morning saw us doing constituency correspondence and then down to the House of Commons and Lords for the Queens Speech; the Queen was amazing.
Back in to the chamber for the debate and then more correspondence / meetings followed by drinks with the shadow cabinet and David Cameron in the gardens of 10 Downing Street. At this meet and greet got a good chance to chat to Liam Fox, and mentioned to George Osborne several constituents concerns about CGT rises. Also chatted at length to Dominic Grieve and Mark Francois.
The garden of 10 Downing Street is L shaped and high walled. Downing Street itself is small and number 10 not that big: the White House it is not!
Then back to the House for more work on correspondence: Sarah my secretary says she has never known it this busy in all her many years working in the House. Left the House at 9.30pm
Monday, 24 May 2010
We are beginning to get on top of the correspondence but bear with us if replies are delayed.
Had multiple meetings today on all manner of topics from Data Protection to FOI, chats with Gerry Foley of Tyne Tees, the BBC and paper journalists, and my campaign manager from the election, Chrus Galley, who will head up the Farming task force we are in the process of setting up
Tomorrow is the Queens Speech: for details of what is in it go to the telegraphs scoop =
Sunday, 23 May 2010
Was lucky enough to be asked again to Haydon Bridge School by John and the team; am trying to go round all the schools in the summer, as a first step; met many of the students who had grilled me before the election [particularly the ever questioning Charlie] walked in to the French class and had to then conduct a conversation in French; did ok until they switched to Russian!
Had a good chat with John as to the fate of High Schools and plans for the way ahead; it is a great school.
Saturday, 22 May 2010
Every volunteer was given drinks and a hog roast - paid for by me [and not on expenses I should add]. The hog roast was produced by Anguis Nelson and Richard Dodd and was delicious. Quite an achievement to feed 200. As Richard commented there was not a vegetarian option.
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Monday, 17 May 2010
- Tuesday: election of the speaker.
- Wednesday: swearing in of new MPs / oath of allegiance
- To follow: election of the Select Committees Chairmen and the Committee representatives
Still have no office, but case work flooding in - bear with us if it takes a little while to get up to speed
Sunday, 16 May 2010
My beaten up £180 election car has survived MOT and lives to fight again for another year: it died on the day of the election but the Barrasford garage has down a great job getting it back on the road.
Saturday, 15 May 2010
Everyone who reads this blog will know that I love and adore Sushi, the horse I have raced for Tim Reed for the last few seasons in point to points: sadly on Saturday he had a training accident, broke his front leg badly and had to be put down. We are all devastated. It was noone's fault - it was just an accident.
Aside from the fact that we raced together at Cheltenham, Kempton, Hexham and beyond I owe him a huge debt of gratitude as he and I won the local point to point together last year in tough circumstances.
Sushi was a gentleman and a wonderful character. We will all miss him a lot
Friday, 14 May 2010
As a conservative I see at least 80% of the manifesto in there
Thursday, 13 May 2010
for details. This is going to be a long journey ahead.
People very positive about the new government: everyone asks will it work. Yesterday I did Sky TV News, 3 newspapers, and 3 radio interviews and said roughly the same thing: it has to work.
A). This is what people voted for
B). We are broke and need to find a way to work through this and turn this country around
The full list of Cabinet appointments has now been published:
- Prime Minister - David Cameron
- Deputy Prime Minister - Nick Clegg
- Chancellor of the Exchequer - George Osborne
- Foreign Secretary - William Hague
- Secretary of State for Education - Michael Gove
- Secretary of State for Work and Pensions - Iain Duncan Smith
- Secretary of State for Health - Andrew Lansley
- Secretary of State for Scotland - Danny Alexander
- Secretary of State for Defence - Liam Fox
- Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change - Chris Huhne
- Secretary of State for Home Affairs and minister for Women and Equality - Theresa May
- Secretary of State of Justice and Lord Chancellor - Kenneth Clarke
- Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills - Vince Cable
- Chief Whip - Patrick McLoughlin (attending Cabinet)
- Chief Secretary to the Treasury - David Laws
- Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government - Eric Pickles
- Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - Caroline Spelman
- Secretary of State for Transport - Philip Hammond
- Secretary of State for International Development - Andrew Mitchell
- Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport - Jeremy Hunt
- Secretary of State for Northern Ireland - Owen Paterson
- Secretary of State for Wales - Cheryl Gillan
- Leader of the House of Lords, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster - Lord Strathclyde
- Leader of the House of Commons, Lord Privy Seal - Sir George Young (attending Cabinet)
- Minister for the Cabinet Office, Paymaster General - Francis Maude (attending Cabinet)
- Minister of State, Cabinet Office - Oliver Letwin (attending Cabinet)
- Minister of State (Universities and Science) - Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills - David Willetts (attending Cabinet)
- Minister without portfolio - Baroness Warsi (also Conservative Party chairman*)
- Attorney General - Dominic Grieve (invited to attend when required)
The Shadow Cabinet ministers who missed out on a full Cabinet job are Greg Clark, Theresa Villiers, Nick Herbert, Grant Shapps, Baroness Neville-Jones, Chris Grayling and Mark Francois (and David Mundell). They have all served the party well in Opposition
Some I know well and were recently in Hexham: I very much hope that they will be rewarded with middle-ranking ministerial posts tomorrow.
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Extraordinary times...extraordinary measures required
There is much about this deal about which all true Conservatives will be very happy with - deficit reform, banking reform, no jobs tax, agreement on Europe, immigration, green economy, freedom bill against ID Cards, welfare reforms; some things I would not prefer but that is a coalition.
This is truly a government for the national interest, working in the national interest...
We are all going to have to conduct ourselves in a very different way
- Gordon Brown resigns
- Cameron / Hague and Osborne address all Conservative MP's in Comittee Room 14 [which is vast + like a huge hall]
- Crunch time for the Liberals
- Trying to get a desk sorted - problem is until we know who is in government noone can tell you where you are working. Am working in a tiny hotdesking room, and the HOC library
Should find out by close of business tonight who the government is
Looking forward to day 2
Monday, 10 May 2010
Still not sure if we are in government or opposition. Meeting David Cameron at 6pm tonight
Sunday, 9 May 2010
Yesterday I visited all 77 polling stations, and I saw for myself that this was an exceptionallywell run election.
I pay tribute to all the election staff, the police and the returning officer.
I could not have won this seat without a huge amount of help from so many volunteers.
My chairman, councillors, family, friends and loved ones, my agent and the office teamhave been a rock of support.
I simply would not be here without you
We ran a local and very positive campaign, which talked about what the Conservatives have done localy and nationally, and what we will do in the future.
Whatever the government I will always be a voice for our area, first and foremost.
But the government also needs to listen to rural communities like ours.
I believe an MP should represent all sections of the community - regardless of creed or cause. I will strive to do this. It has been my dream to try and play a small part in making this country and this county a better place.
I thank you for all your support.
The real job starts now."
Friday, 7 May 2010
After a long night watching the results we all trooped in to the count run by Richard Robson and his team. It went very well and the result was wonderful.
A majority of over 5000 and an increased share of the vote was more than I could have hoped for.
Afterwards we went back to Bev's house for a celebration with all the team - sandwiches having been provided by the Chollerford Cafe. Dinner that night was at the Battlesteads Pub in Wark.
All my family and friends were present and all the councillors who had helped make the result work
Thursday, 6 May 2010
We started in Humshaugh and then headed down the Tyne valley to Gilsland, then down the South Tyne to Slaggyford, before heading up and over the Allen valley to Hexham. After a late breakfast we went north to Kielder and over the Forest Drive, then down to Ponteland. Jamie took over for the dash through Prudhoe, the Durham road to Shotley Bridge and Blanchland and then back to finish in Barrasford.
We canvassed as we went. Another team were in Tynemouth.
We had knocking up in Hexham, Ponteland, Wark, Corbridge and Prudhoe and selected villages in between.
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
What a day - Chris picked me up and we canvassed West Woodburn, Rochester, Byrness, then took the Forest Drive to Kielder before driving south to Ponteland. Then over to help in Tynemouth before back to Stannington and finishing with a marathon canvass of Castlefields.
Got told that we had made the Racing Post at about 6pm and we all rushed out to buy a copy of the paper.
Tried to have a quiet dinner in Ponteland at Rialtos but everyone kept chatting to us. Ended up canvassing the bar staff at 10.20pm!
Very tired but up early to canvass first thing
The pics are of Chris and I at his rugby club in Kielder, Jamie and I hunting for voters on Forest Drive, and the end of the canvassing in Castlefields
Separate teams will be out helping in other places, both locally and in Carlisle and Tynemouth
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Then jumped in a car and drove down to the far west and canvassed Halton Lea Gate, Featherstone and surrounding villages. Ended up in the Wallace Arms in Featherstone for a pint - it is a great pub. A good day
Monday, 3 May 2010
A crazy day saw us:
- bumping into the Labour candidate [who is actually all right and actually believes in something, which is good] when both of us were canvassing in the morning in Priestlands in Hexham. We both agreed that there was no sign of the liberals
- doing a great trip to allendale which was having its scarecrow festival. We also bought a saw as the wood has run out
- making a stategic pit stop at the Golden Lion in Allendale and then the mighty Tea and Tipple cafe in Corbridge for too much cake. A 3 hour Corbridge canvass then followed finishing up in the Angel pub. Our Corbridge canvass has been huge and very effective.
- good crowd including Adrian, Jamie W [back on the trail for more], my folks, Christine, Bev, and Chris
Sunday, 2 May 2010
Saturday, 1 May 2010
Have to do a BBC interview on the way for Look North
May try and go to the Hexham races this evening - my inside man says Buckstrother will win the Heart race at Hexham
What was great was that they were really interested in politics and how the country will be changed in the future
Then spent 3 hours in Bardon Mill - where we visited almost every house; then on to Henshaw and Melkridge. Finished the evening in Bellingham