Derby Telegraph column

Following the Prime Minister’s resignation earlier this month, myself and fellow Conservative members of Parliament voted in several rounds to determine which two candidates would make it to the final vote. I consulted my constituents on this matter, asking them to choose their preferred candidate of the original ten, whilst also asking what their main policy priority was. Boris Johnson came out a clear favourite, with 43% of the vote, and it was clear that delivering Brexit remains a priority for the majority of my constituents.

In the weeks leading up to the vote, I met with almost all of the candidates, with the aim of understanding what each of their Brexit plan would be should they take office. I came to the conclusion that Boris would be the best candidate to deliver the Brexit that my constituents voted for over three years ago.

First and foremost, Boris is a true Brexiteer. He was part of the team that initially campaigned for us to leave the European Union, and it seems only fitting to let him finish the job he started. I believe his experience in high office, both as Mayor of London and as Foreign Secretary, hold him in good stead to become our next Prime Minister. It is my opinion that his experience, combined with his familiarity among the electorate, will go a long way in uniting the party and restoring confidence in the government.

The main ongoing local issue in Amber Valley is the Council’s proposals with regards to a development plan – to set out future housing growth, and where new homes will go in our borough. Following the local elections, the new administration at the Council have decided to withdraw Amber Valley’s current Local Plan from examination by the Planning Inspector, as a result of concern over the proposed removal of 15 sites from the Green Belt, to allow houses to be built on them.

The Council will decide over the coming months how to proceed, and I hope that a compromise can be found to avoid a further long delay: the controversial Green Belt sites should be removed, but a way needs to be found to resubmit the plan for consideration as soon as possible to avoid the continued risk of speculative developments and inappropriate applications on other sites across the Borough gaining approval.