The words from that night – ‘I am very sorry, Ben Bradley has won’ – from the returning officer will never leave me, after she first accidentally announced that Sir Alan Meale had won again.
Since that time a lot has happened. I’ve taken part in more than 890 votes and spoken more than 330 times in the House of Commons to make the case for Mansfield.
I promised to come and shout up for Mansfield as for far too long our area had been forgotten about.
I hope that my speaking out has helped to put Mansfield at the heart of the Government’s agenda.
In the time I have been in Westminster, we have got Brexit done and we have set off on the journey to help level up the country and Mansfield.
On this levelling up mission, we have managed to help secure hundreds of millions of pounds for our area, through many different funding sources such as the Towns Fund and Severn Trent Green Recovery Project, which is set to transform our area with £76 million.
We’ve set off to transform the skills agenda, making Mansfield a university town, and we’re pulling together big projects for economic investment.
These improvements don’t come overnight, but we’ve moved forward a long way.
I have also been incredibly lucky to campaign on an issue that is very close to my heart, that of white working-class boys.
Too often, disadvantaged boys from places like ours have been left behind by governments of every stripe in the drive for ‘equality’.
This is despite the fact that these boys often have the worst educational outcomes and life chances of all groups.
I have been proud to be at the forefront of the campaign to raise this up the agenda and help to ensure that support is offered based on need, rather than race or gender.
I have also been extremely lucky to be part of various committees.
Being on these committees has allowed me to make Mansfield’s voice heard when it came to important issues.
I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who has contacted me or supported me in any way over the past five years.
It has been – and still is – the honour of a lifetime to serve as your MP and I look forward to delivering on Mansfield priorities.
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