It’s a hectic first week as new MP Andy settles in

Andy Sawford
Andy Sawford

New Corby and East Northants MP Andy Sawford hit the ground running after winning the seat for Labour.

After a hard-fought, campaign he enjoyed his first family Sunday lunch for months and then it was straight down to business at Westminster.

After being sworn in on Monday, Mr Sawford got down to work, attending meetings with Labour leader Ed Miliband, holding talks with fellow Northamptonshire MPs, Philip Hollobone for Kettering and Peter Bone for Wellingborough, welcoming constituents to the House of Commons and discussing jobs and future investment in Corby with Tata Steel bosses.

His first constituency visits will take place tomorrow when he meets sixth-formers at Corby Business Academy and calls in at the town’s new Rooftop art gallery and workshops.

The MP said: “It’s been very busy. There’s a lot of work to do and it’s important that I get on with it.

“I’ve met my neighbouring MPs to talk about the review of services at Kettering General Hospital and I’ve been talking to Northamptonshire County Council about a number of issues, including street lights.

“Tomorrow I’ll be meeting students at Corby Business Academy to talk to them about employment opportunities and what can be done to match skills and young people’s aspirations with jobs.

“The health service and job prospects are among the issues people raised during the campaign.”

Mr Sawford, who is working out of a temporary office at Westminster, was expected to make his maiden speech today.

Meanwhile, back in the constituency the MP is looking for an office to hold regular surgeries. He has already been in touch with constituents who have asked for help with a range of issues.

After the by-election count on Friday, Mr Sawford stressed again the pledge he made during his campaign to be available and accessible to people living in Corby and East Northants.

He said: “I feel really proud. This is an incredible honour and now there is a lot of work to do.

“People have put their trust in me to fight for services at Kettering General Hospital and to fight for jobs. People will be looking at me now to fight for them.”

Mr Sawford campaigned against cuts to services at Kettering General Hospital under the Healthier Together review of five regional hospitals.

He said: “There is the opportunity now, as MP for Corby and East Northants, to seek specific assurances about the future of services at the hospital.

“I intend to keep the pressure up. I will be working hard in the constituency, holding regular surgeries in all the major towns.

“People will know where to get me. If they need help, I’ll be available.”

One of the first people to congratulate Mr Sawford was Ed Miliband who travelled to the constituency to say well done in person.

The Labour leader said: “You have knocked on thousands of doors in this constituency and you have listened to what people want to hear and what they want from a local member of parliament.

“You have stood up for the young people of this constituency who want hope for the future. You have stood up for the small businesses that want a better deal from the banking system and you have stood up for the people who say they want Kettering General Hospital and its services protected.

“And as for us, the work goes on. We intensify the work.

“Andy will be taking the message from this constituency to Westminster.”