Firstly, I hope everyone is enjoying the festive period.
As the Christmas season is upon us I’d like to reflect on the last year. Firstly, again, I want to thank you all for electing me as your new Member of Parliament in May. It is an enormous privilege to represent you in Westminster. It is fair to say there has been a considerable amount of political turbulence during 2016.
We’ve had various political events from the UK electorate’s decision to leave the European Union, with the complexities of Brexit which have followed to the election of President-elect Donald Trump, with many political, economic and social commentators speculating on the international impact his Presidency will bring.
The passing of truly iconic figures, including David Bowie in January to Leonard Cohen just last month to sporting spectacles from the Rio Olympics to Wales’ superb European Championship run. The year has been far from boring! Divisive? Perhaps, in part, but not boring.
As your new MP, one of the civic duties I am privileged to do is to place a wreath on Remembrance Day. We must always respect, reflect and honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, not just in the two World Wars, but in all wars and conflicts since. It’s vital we continue to support both veterans and current service personnel and I’d like to thank most sincerely the work of the Royal British Legion and every other charity that supports our armed forces, their work is truly invaluable.
Of course, another significant event following the Brexit decision was a new Prime Minister coming to office. Within my short time in Westminster, it is fair to say I have witnessed many historical events and it appears as the process of triggering Article 50 continues, 2017 could equally see further significant changes to the political landscape.
The murder of my colleague and friend, Jo Cox, doing the job she loved, will of course live with me and fellow MPs from across the House of Commons and with many people across the country.
Our common belief in democracy, with the freedom that brings, is, of course, one of the foundations of a modern UK. We must always remember that there is more that unites us than divides us and not give in to the politics of hate and fear.
To update you on some of my recent work in Parliament, I have been pleased to speak on a number of different topics including lowering the voting age to 16, ending violence against police officers, calling for improved rail services and calling for increased investment in coalfield communities. To learn more you can visit my website www.chriselmore.co.uk where you can see my contributions in the chamber.
Over the festive period, my office will be open as normal until Wednesday 21st of December and will re-open on Tuesday the 3rd.
Finally, I wish all residents a restful, happy and healthy New Year.