First of all, an enormous thank you to everyone who placed their trust in me last Thursday. I am humbled by your support and am grateful to have been given the tremendous privilege of representing you and our special part of North Yorkshire in Parliament once again. I look forward to working hard for all of you and your families, to listen, to help where I can, and to make sure our voice is heard in Westminster.
My thanks to the Returning Officer Dr Justin Ives and all of you who worked straight through all the way from 7am to 10pm manning our local polling stations, from Great Ayton to Hawes and Eppleby to West Tanfield. I enjoyed meeting many of you on Polling Day with my wife to say Thank You in person, but with an amazing 113 local polling stations here it’s a struggle to make it around to everyone! And also a big thank you all those at Hambleton Leisure Centre who worked through the night to deliver the result just after 4.15am.
I would also like to pay tribute to the other candidates for the positive and good-natured way they engaged in debate during the election.
Now though, it is time to get on and deliver for you, on both our national and local priorities.
With Brexit finally delivered in weeks, I and the Government will be working flat-out to deliver on the pledges made to dramatically improve our region’s infrastructure, whether that is the rail improvements the Prime Minister talked about just days after he became Prime Minister in the summer, or the commitments in our party’s manifesto to better broadband and improved mobile phone coverage through a shared rural network.
Connectivity is key to the growth required to level up the regional economies of the UK. Similarly, expect support for our High Streets and small businesses, and strong investment in public services like the NHS, local schools and more police officers.
Thanks to the election campaign, preparations for Christmas did take something of a back seat in the Sunak household but I did find time to get our splendid Christmas tree from Sam Turners, decorate it (not so splendidly perhaps!) and take the family to see the panto at the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond.
This is a regular fixture for us and one of our favourite family days of the year. Aladdin is another cracker of a production from the masterful hand of Gary Bridgens who also stars as Widow Twankey.
There are plenty of local jokes (thankfully not all of them at my expense!) and Darlington also does as ever get a lot of stick. The show is on until January 12 and the Sunak family can heartily recommend it.
The column returns on January 10th. Have a wonderful Christmas together with your family and friends and here’s to a peaceful and prosperous 2020 for all of us.