A week is a long time in politics | Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham column
On Monday we saw MPs come together to see who held the confidence of the House of Commons. Because unlike what some may think, the Prime Minister of the UK is very much different to an elected President.
Our Prime Minister is the person who commands the most support, and as such can form a government. And so, although I personally backed another candidate to lead the Conservative Party, when it came to it only Rishi Sunak could bring the party together and form a united government that can get on with the task of governing.
I want to congratulate our new Prime Minister. He has my total support in addressing the challenges ahead. And having spoken to him, I know he is as committed as I am to delivering on our 2019 manifesto promises and ensuring our borough is never again left behind like it was under the Labour Party. I will not forget that it was Rishi who stepped in to back businesses throughout Covid, and fully backed my bid for £20 million from the Levelling up Fund, something which is already seeing UClan transformed at Westgate.
As the Parliamentary week has been extended to Friday I won’t be back in the borough until late Friday evening where my usual weekly surgeries will be able to continue as normal, starting again on Saturday morning.
The biggest debate that has taken place this week regards food security; a pressing topic that given the economic instability that the war in Ukraine is causing, requires minds to be focused. The Russian invasion is a reminder of the crucial importance of UK food producers to our national resilience and so the government has brought forward a new Food Strategy. Not only does this address security of supply, which is crucial, but also sets out how the food and drink industry has an important role to play in our levelling up agenda.
The objectives are clear. And I’ll be playing my full part to ensure that our home grown produce continues to grow. That it provides good quality jobs, moves to a more sustainable footing and that our local businesses can take full advantage of the post Brexit opportunities that now exist within the sector.
Support for farmers is top of the agenda too. Because our food system must not only feed our nation today but also protect it for tomorrow.