New Corby and East Northants MP Tom Pursglove has made his maiden speech in the House of Commons.
He spoke about the history of his constituency, including the role Corby’s steelworks played in the Normandy landings during the Second World War, and the strength of the local community.
I never cease to be amazed by the fact that people are so willing to dig deep, to look out for others, and to support good causes.Tom Pursglove MP
He said: “As one who grew up in north Northamptonshire, I never cease to be amazed by the fact that people are so willing to dig deep, to look out for others, and to support good causes.
“There is no better example of that than the way in which the local community came together to support the family of Lance Corporal James Ashworth, VC, a young man who was tragically killed in Afghanistan.
“Lance Corporal Ashworth made the greatest of sacrifices, and was killed while trying to protect his comrades.
“We owe our brave armed forces the greatest debt of gratitude, and it is fitting that a square has been named in his memory in the heart of our town.”
He also spoke about East Northamptonshire’s market towns and villages and how he is currently supporting the campaign to save the playing fields at Oundle Primary School from being sold off, as well as future developments in the area.
He said: “In east Northamptonshire, Conservatives have led the campaign for the Rushden Lakes development at Skew Bridge.
“The development will transform our area, bringing it new jobs, shops and leisure facilities, as a result of a multi-million-pound investment in the area which will build on the 60 per cent fall in unemployment that we saw in the last Parliament.”
Paying tribute to his predecessor Andy Sawford, he told MPs: “In the last five years, Corby has had four Members of Parliament, probably more than any other constituency in the House.
“I hope to bring some much-needed continuity to the role over the next five years.
“My predecessor, Andy Sawford, was a hard-working and diligent local Member of Parliament, and 1 am proud that we kept to our deal.
“On day one, we said that we would always stick to the issues and battle hard on them, but would never make it personal.
“We stuck to that, and I think Andy too can be very proud of that.
“He will undoubtedly be a tough act to follow, and I am very grateful to him – as are local people – for the huge contribution that he made to our area during the last two and a half years.
“Before that, Louise Mensch served as the Member of Parliament.
“She was a fierce member of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, and was a more glamorous MP than I could ever hope to be.
“William Powell and Phil Hope also proved themselves to be hard-working local Members, and both are still warmly talked about locally.
“I thank them, too, for all their efforts in our constituency.”
The full transcript of his speech can be read here.