Pevensey’s newly elected MP has spoken of his delight at holding on to his seat.
Huw Merriman was re-elected to represent the Bexhill and Battle constituency at last week’s General Election.
The Conservative has said he takes his position as MP very seriously and has admitted he will miss working with Caroline Ansell, who lost the Eastbourne seat to Liberal Democrat, Stephen Lloyd.
Commenting on his re-election, Mr Merriman said, “I am truly honoured and privileged to have been re-elected as the Member of Parliament for the Bexhill and Battle constituency.
“I am very grateful to local party members who provided outstanding support during the campaign and knocked on doors with me and delivered literature on my behalf. They passed on views from the people they spoke to and without their help I could not have reached so many households.
“I take this job and my responsibilities very seriously and I hope that the work I have done since 2015 has been reflected in the results, with my vote increasing by 20%. On Monday, I was straight back to work in Westminster, dealing with casework and correspondence from constituents and planning local priorities for the next few months.
“The election was a disappointment for my party. From a very strong position, we lost many seats. Lessons have to be learned. In a private meeting this week with the Prime Minister, I made the points to the Prime Minister which many constituents had asked me to pass on; that the public want their politicians to deliver positive and clear messages about what they will do for the country when they are asking for their vote.
“I share the Prime Minister's view that the time to step up and take responsibility and deliver leadership is when the ship has veered from its intended direction. The Conservative Party has 56 more MPs than Labour. Whilst we may be licking our wounds, the Labour Party's triumphalism for losing this election demonstrates that we have the humility and determination to get back to governing and to learn from our mistakes. I hope that the Prime Minister now has the chance to govern and deliver on some huge challenges which lie ahead. She continues to have my full support.
“Sadly, a number of my excellent colleagues lost their seats in the general election. I will certainly miss working closely with Caroline Ansell who was elected to represent Eastbourne in May 2015 when we both became new MPs. We learnt the job together and I know she worked very hard for the people of Eastbourne. I wish her the very best for the future and hope to see her return to Westminster soon.
“I also should like to publically convey my thanks to my local political opponents who presented a formidable and healthy opposition during the election campaign. I firmly believe that our mutual respect for each other as individuals meant that we were able to publically debate our policies in a mature and sensible manner. This makes for great democracy.
“I now look forward to serving everyone from the Bexhill and Battle constituency in Parliament for this new term. There are many local issues that I have been heavily involved in up until now that I will continue to progress including: road and rail improvements; education; supporting our local NHS; adult social care; mental health care; housing; and economic growth. I will make these the focus of my work in Parliament and I look forward to continuing to work with local partners with whom I have developed good working relationships over the past two years. As a local MP, it is vital that I work closely with local service providers so I can better understand the challenges they face and take their concerns to senior colleagues and officials in Westminster. I will continue to support constituents who come to me for help on personal matters and I have a great casework team who are based in the Bexhill office who help me in this.
“National policy issues remain very important to me and I shall continue to speak in debates and ask questions of Ministers on issues which are important to the constituency. I will also be contributing to legislation and debate on exiting the European Union. In this matter, I am not interested in media terms such as 'hard' or 'soft' Brexit - what we need to be focusing on is getting the best deal for the UK with our European partners. I am confident that we will.”
Eastbourne Buzz has requested an interview with Mr Merriman several times since last week’s election, but has so far, not received any response.