POLITICALLY SPEAKING: ‘What an honour it is to represent my home city’
“I would like to start this, my very first column in the Wakefield Express, by saying again what an honour it is to represent my home city in the Mother of Parliaments and to be the first Conservative to be elected for Wakefield since 1931,” says Imran Khan, MP for Wakefield.
It truly is humbling, and to those of you who voted for me, I thank you.
To those of you who didn’t, I will do my best to represent you and hope to win your trust during the coming years.
When you become an MP there is no magical process where a fully staffed office falls from the sky. You have to do it all by yourself and it does take time.
Given that parliament has been closed for half of the one month since my election, it has delayed things still further. Please be patient and I assure you that I am working on it with all vigour.
What the election has done is to undo the log jam that was rendering parliament totally ineffective.
The EU Withdrawal Bill has now passed and we are scheduled to cease being members of the European Union at 11pm on January 31, 2020.
Whatever your view of Brexit, we had to enact the result of the referendum if we are to hold even the most remote pretensions of considering ourselves a democracy.
Many people already hold the view that voting is a pointless endeavour.
To ignore the result of the referendum, to make people vote again, or, as some of my opponents wanted, to simply revoke our notice to quit, would merely confirm that view.
I want to rejuvenate our democracy, not undermine it. I have seen at first-hand what happens in countries where democracy doesn’t exist and it isn’t pretty.
No elected person should be in a position to be able to rest on their laurels in the expectation of being automatically re-elected.
But that has been the situation in Wakefield for generations and it has not served our city well.
No matter which colour you vote for, that much must be blindingly obvious.
There is no politician more productive than one who is vulnerable to the ballot box and none more arrogant than those who believe that they aren’t.
Wakefield needs a new direction and new ideas to make the city centre vibrant again.
Our small towns like Horbury and Ossett need to maintain their own unique identities, with local people having more say on what happens in their neighbourhoods. I am happy to work with anyone who can help make that happen for you.
I am hopeful that I will be able to get premises for my new office this week, thought it may take a little further time before I can move in and get the phones installed. I will ensure that it is well publicised.
And finally, should you need my help with any matter please could you contact me via email or by post, or attend one of my regular surgeries.
Every Friday 10.45am-1.45pm at Ossett War Memorial Community Centre, Prospect Road, WF5 8AN. Saturday 9.30am-noon at 24 Zetland Street, Wakefield WF1 1QT (no site parking).