It is an honour and a privilege to be back as MP representing Chelsea & Fulham, with an increased vote and increased majority. Thanks to my small army of supporters, and most of all the good people of Chelsea & Fulham.
We had a very good result on Thursday. Despite a challenging background, particularly with Brexit, I managed to increase my votes from 2017 by a further thousand and to increase my majority to be back above 10,000. And it appears that we won every ward in the constituency, including current Labour-held wards Fulham Broadway and Sands End. It was a magnificent team effort, with more than 350 people helping, almost all from within Chelsea and Fulham.
I have always believed that hard work pays dividends, but also that no vote can ever be taken for granted. Some people voted for me for a variety of reasons, and I need to represent all of those different voices as we move forward in the new parliament.
My main priority in the coming weeks is to see the EU Withdrawal Agreement voted through and for us to leave the European Union before 31sr January. Although I ran the Remain campaign here in Chelsea & Fulham in 2016, it has been my view ever since the Referendum that the UK needs to leave the European Union and to leave with a deal. We now have every prospect of achieving this. 2020 will then be dominated by debates around our future relationship with Brussels. I want us to have as close a relationship with our European neighbours as possible, so long as it is consistent with guaranteeing the rights of the 3 million nationals of EU countries here, the rights of the 1 million British people in the EU, an independent trade policy, an independent migration policy (which might include generous treatment of future migration from the EU) and the UK being a global, outward-looking nation. I am confident that this is achievable before this time next year.
Nationally, it was a magnificent night for the Conservatives and for the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. There are now more than a hundred new Conservative MPs, many winning in parts of England and Wales which haven’t seen a Conservative MP for many decades, if ever. We need to be sure to honour this mandate and be mindful of what all of these voters, old and new, want from us.
In the meantime, it will be back to work tomorrow. My normal contact details have resumed.