I have said many times that being the MP for Ashfield is an absolute honour and a privilege and I give 100% every single day in my role. But what do MPs do behind the scenes? The public see the bit in the House of Commons where we all jump up and down and try and make our point but there is much more to the job than that.
I have a real passion for casework which stems from my time working at Ashfield Citizens Advice Bureau and since being elected my office and I have dealt with 45,000 emails from constituents needing my help. I always do my best and since being elected I have had some major wins for my constituents and some small wins. But I say a win is a win and if my intervention makes a difference to someone’s life then I have the best job in the world.
That said another thing us MPs get up to is scrutinising legislation which is why I have sat on several Select Committees since being elected and currently sit on the Home Affairs Select Committee as I have a real passion for getting it right on illegal immigration and law and order. People in Ashfield tell me that I speak their language, so I turn up at these meetings and speak like an Ashfield constituent, which is what I am. I think we are all struck with ‘Imposter Syndrome’ once we get to Parliament as it takes some sinking in that you are there debating in the most famous Chamber in the world. However, I have been there over two years now and firmly believe that someone from Ashfield has every right to be there and long may that continue.
Of course, what I would really like to do I is present a Private Members Bill to Parliament which allows MPs to present a new Bill to Parliament without interference from any political party, but this is extremely unlikely as only a few MPs are drawn out of the ballot every time a new Parliament sits but fingers crossed, I will be successful next time as I have some strong opinions on new laws.
Lots of us MPs raise money for good causes and with the help of constituents and some great business leaders I have raised nearly £30,000 since being elected as well as donating my pay rises and income earnt from newspaper columns to local voluntary groups. I am lucky, I am in a position where I can bring people together and raise a few quid. I know some people are struggling locally and I totally get it and I will continue to help where I can and raise money for the local groups that are helping people in Ashfield.
If you know of any good causes that could use a few quid then please let me know on email@example.com as there are some great local businesses out there always looking to help and my annual pay rise will always go to a good cause.