New Corby & East Northants MP wants to keep talking

Tom Pursglove (centre) at the election count
Tom Pursglove (centre) at the election count

The new MP for Corby and East Northants has promised to keep talking to constituents to tackle the issues which matter to them.

Conservative Tom Pursglove has barely had time to stop and reflect on his win since ousting Labour’s Andy Sawford in the Parliamentary elections.

But he is relishing the new job, with his first week including an induction at Westminster, trying to find an office, organising his weekly surgeries and responding to countless emails, calls and tweets congratulating him on his win.

Tom, who at 26 is one of the youngest MPs in the country, said: “It has been a bit of a whirlwind so far.

“My phone has been ringing off the hook in terms of people ringing to say congratulations but also with problems.

“The emails are flooding in, it’s been really busy but at the same time we don’t have an office.

As a young MP I am very keen to to encourage young people to get involved in politics.

“Hopefully people will bear with us.”

He has not been able to secure an office yet, but said: “I want to have a constituency office.

“Where that is going to be is not yet determined and will depend on budgetary constraints, but I am determined to have an office.

“I am also going to have surgeries out and about so people don’t have to travel a considerable distance to go to a surgery.

“It is really important to be available.”

Even though the election campaign is over, the new MP said he is really keen to keep speaking to people to see what matters to them.

He said: “We spent two years out with the listening campaign team and one of the things I am determined to do is to keep knocking on doors.

“It’s really important that we get out there to find out what people care about.

“I am really keen to keep on doing that.”

Numerous issues were raised in the run-up to the election and Mr Pursglove said he will do what he can to tackle these.

He said: “In terms of key local issues, I want to see more jobs.

“Unemployment was down by 60 per cent under the last government but there’s always more to do.

“I want to see more opportunities in terms of jobs and investment in the area and more for young people, that’s a big focus for me.

“So is making sure we have the Rushden Lakes development built as quickly as possible.

“This is 2,000 jobs we are talking about.”

Mr Pursglove, who won with a majority of more than 2,000, has said he wants to be as good, if not better, than his predecessor Andy Sawford.

He said: “I think Andy provided a good service and I want to make sure me and my staff provide the same service.

“There is a real commitment from me to work hard to help people.

“There are lots of different issues affecting the constituency, including the waste issue in Corby and saving the playing fields in Oundle, there’s lots going on.”

While he admits he has big shoes to fill, he has two MPs to call on for help.

He said: “Peter Bone and Philip Hollobone are good returning members of Parliament.

“They always put their constituents first and I want to provide the service that they provide.

“Over the years they have worked hard locally in Northamptonshire.”

And he added: “We have got seven Conservative MPs in the county, this is what we need in our area, it is a very powerful thing.

“There’s no question that it helps to have MPs in the same party working on the same issues.”

But even with them to go to for advice, Mr Pursglove said he was his ‘own man’ and people have told him they think his age is ‘quite refreshing.’

He added: “We need to have a Parliament that represents all sorts of people.

“As a young MP I am very keen to to encourage young people to get involved in politics.”

Aside from politics, Mr Pursglove is a keen sportsman, with cricket being a particular favourite for him.

He said: “I am a very keen sportsman, I love playing and watching sport.

“I shall try to make it up to Wantage Road this year.

“As a local MP I am really keen to support our local sports clubs.”

And added: “One of the things we talked about in the election campaign was the issue of obesity.

“We have had an issue with obesity and we need to encourage healthier lifestyles.

“Getting involved with sport is very important and I was fortunate to do it when I was growing up.

“We need more sports facilities, not less.”

But for now, his focus is on finding an office and getting stuck in to the new role.

He said: “I am just looking forward to getting started and working with people on the issues we have campaigned on.”

To contact Mr Pursglove, email tom.pursglove.mp@parliament.uk or call the Conservative office on 01536 200255 as a temporary number until Mr Pursglove has his own office.