Well, it’s been quite a year. To be honest, in many respects it’s been a terrible year. I won’t be sad to see the back of 2019.
There have been some bright spots. For all the rancour and division of our national politics, the local community here in Redbridge has kept me going. From the nice comments from people on the tube – especially on days when I must have looked pretty exhausted from the endless rounds of late-night Brexit votes – to the people we’ve been able to help, I feel very lucky to have a strong support network locally and to be in a position to make a positive difference.
This was the year when we learned that King George A&E wouldn’t close – thanks to all our campaigning. My campaign for more bobbies on the beat in Redbridge joined up with others across the country and clearly hit a raw nerve with the Government, which means more Police are on the way. South Woodford tube station gained step-free access, too.
I really enjoyed spending time with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines as part of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme and I’ve been thinking a lot over the last week or two about those personnel currently serving away from their families at Christmas. I also enjoyed raising money for ELHAP, especially the ‘jail break’ event with Mike Gapes and Iain Duncan Smith where we put politics to one side to raise thousands for a good cause.
I’m feeling rested after a good break over Christmas and am fired up for the new year.
I hope that 2020 brings you health, success and happiness. You know where I am if ever you need my help or if ever you want me to raise issues that concern you in Parliament.
I am extremely proud to represent our community in Parliament and more grateful than words can say for the trust that people have placed in me for a third time.