The general election seems a long time ago – doubtless to the relief of many reading this article. But I must return to it just once more.
It is truly humbling to have had the trust placed in me in 2010 renewed. I am extremely grateful to everyone who voted for me and I shall do all I can to be worthy of your support by making Portsmouth an even better place to live.
Thank you for giving me that chance. To those who decided to cast their ballot elsewhere, I say that it is my job to represent all those in Portsmouth North and I want everyone to benefit from my plans to make our city healthier and wealthier.
Portsmouth is on the march. The claimant rate has more than halved, dilapidated community facilities have been brought back to life and businesses and events organisers now want to come to our city.
It is now the leading exporter in the UK – we export double what the next best UK city does.
As the eyes of the world focus on the Solent and Ben Ainslie Racing, our place as the maritime heart of the UK is well and truly established.
Our city and its people will be ready to grasp the opportunities these policies will bring
We have momentum and with a government which will reward hard work and enterprise, we have opportunity.
Majority government means that the chance to implement policies falls to a single party, but we are all mindful that so too does the duty of care.
Tomorrow Her Majesty The Queen will give the Gracious Speech and set out the programme for the year ahead.
Fairness will be at the heart of this programme, as it will be of our whole term.
We want fairness for workers, for those who need help, for Britain in the EU, and for England in the Union.
In our manifesto we promised to freeze commuter rail fares for the next five years in real terms; introduce 30 hours of free childcare per week for working families with three and four-year-olds; cut taxes by raising the personal allowance to £12,500 and the 40p threshold to £50,000; protect education spending – rebuilding schools in Portsmouth; increase spending on our invaluable NHS; deliver a new constitutional settlement on English legislation; and to renegotiate and then hold an in-out referendum on our EU membership.
All of this we will do, and our city and its people will be ready to grasp the opportunities these policies will bring.
I look forward to fulfilling the promise of the next five years with you.