New Eastbourne MP’s maiden Commons speech

Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell's maiden speech in the House of Commons
Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell's maiden speech in the House of Commons

Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell made her first speech in the Houses of Commons on Tuesday.

In her maiden speech, which is a Commons tradition, Caroline called for “new leadership” at the DGH, paid tribute to her predecessor Stephen Lloyd, and spoke about former Eastbourne MP Ian Gow, who was assassinated by the IRA in 1985.

She also paid tribute to the town she represents, and said, “Members may know Eastbourne as the sunniest place in the United Kingdom, a tourist town, and a retirement haven. That is all true, but there is perhaps an untold story.

“We are home to the largest junior school in Europe. We have, reportedly, the highest proportion of female directors in the UK and the highest number of director appointments under 25.

“We are surprisingly rich in military history, with the latest heritage project revealing the Summerdown camp — the country’s biggest First World War convalescent camp, a tiny part of which is now to be found under my sister’s garden.

“It is a place of culture, with the award-winning Towner Gallery. It is the eastern gateway to the South Downs national park — a connection I hope to make increasingly strong in the years to come.

“It is a place of business, big and small, and home to the largest distributor of the English language in Europe.

“We also have big ambitions, with pipeline plans to build a top conferencing centre, an emerging digital and creative community, and millions of pounds of investment working its way into the town –and soon we will have big names, as tennis stars make their way to Eastbourne later this month for the Aegon international pre-Wimbledon tournament, which beams images of our wonderful town all around the world.

“Members may recall that Eastbourne drew international coverage only last summer with the devastating images of the fire that ripped through our iconic Victorian pier. That pier is open again for business and for pleasure, and you are warmly welcome.

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