I think it was Harold Wilson who once said, “a week in politics is a long time.” Indeed, what we have seen over the past few days has been really quite extraordinary.
First of all, I would like to pay tribute to Theresa May for her public service and her really quite remarkable sense of duty. Never was this more apparent then during her last Prime Minister’s Questions in the House on Wednesday 24th July. Indeed, no one could have worked harder on behalf of the country, and although she failed to deliver Brexit, she can be very proud of some of her other achievements, including the work she has done for women in this country and for mental health.
However, it was perfectly obvious that her Administration had become totally bogged down by the failure to deliver Brexit. Furthermore, collective responsibility had completely broken down, and I think it was very sad the way she was let down by so many of her former Cabinet colleagues.
Nevertheless, as one Prime Minister departs, so another one arrives. We have now firmly entered the era of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and what an extraordinary start he has made. Indeed, all of a sudden, we have a feeling of optimism and aspiration, and I have been incredibly impressed by his can-do attitude.
I am also delighted that some of the brighter younger Ministers have been given very serious posts including Dominic Raab, Sajid Javid and our very own Elizabeth Truss. I have no doubt this will be a Cabinet that returns to traditional collective responsibility, and truly puts the country first rather than their own ambitions.
I personally am very confident, with some imaginative changes to the Backstop, that we will be able to deliver Brexit by 31st October.
I also salute and applaud the Prime Minister’s commitments to reforming social care; putting more police back on the beat in order to solve plagues like knife crime; making our tax system more competitive; ironing out some of the problems around school funding; and making sure the £20billion earmarked for the NHS really does lead to improvements across the board.
Finally, I am personally very hopeful that our new Prime Minister will look very sympathetically at what more can be done to improve Norfolk’s local infrastructure, including dualling the A47 and improving the King’s Lynn to London rail service.
Whoever said politics could be boring! At long last we have a Prime Minister who really can uplift the country’s confidence and give us hope for the future.