MP CAROLINE ANSELL: I aim to be a first class MP for the town
A few weeks ago I voted against the Government on the issue of Sunday Trading '“ as a result it was dropped. This seems to have come as a surprise to some people!
I don’t know why.
As an independently minded MP, this is the sort of thing that may happen from time to time.
Much of the work as an MP is done, not in high profile debates and votes in the Commons, but in a completely different way.
For example, the changes to tax credits were stopped at the end of last year not because of the rhetoric in speeches on TV, but because MPs like me, who didn’t make a song and dance about it, spoke ‘off the record’ to Ministers, the Chancellor and others and made it very clear that we would not support the changes proposed.
So anyone who thinks - and promotes - that I blindly follow the party line is sadly mistaken. I will do what I believe to be right, and be as broadly representative of my constituency as possible.
Believe me there are ministers who dread seeing me coming down the corridor in Parliament, just in case I badger them on a subject and tell them what they don’t want to hear!
Most recently the Pensions Minister on the WASPI campaign!
The fact is I am more interested in being a first class MP for the town I love and live in - and that is what I am committed to doing.
Another recent big issue was PIP (Personal Independence Payments).
There was a major change proposed in the Budget on this.
While everyone was concentrating on the Sugar Tax, I was one of 20 MPs who wrote to the Chancellor on the evening of Budget Day making it very clear that there was absolutely no way that I would support this change.
It was just days later that the Government said they were reconsidering, and later still, shelving the change.
But I will also remind those who judge me for supporting the government, that it is a government that has inspired record employment, 1.4m more children in good and outstanding schools and has given the people their say on EU membership.
There is much to be proud of.
On individual issues, some will disagree with me - of course that will happen. It is impossible to please everyone all the time on all issues.
Topics such as assisted suicide and fox hunting are cases in point where I have always had a very clear view, and opinions ran high on both sides of the debate. I stuck with what I believe to be right, and I will continue to do so.
Politics in the real world often means having a well-chosen word with the right people behind the scenes, rather than public grandstanding.
But be in no doubt, I have an absolute belief in what I stand for, regardless of party politics and all the time I am your MP, you can rely on that!