Constituency work remains my most important job

John Hayes and his team at the count

John Hayes and his team at the count

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HAYES IN THE HOUSE: By MP John Hayes

That the people whom I live amongst have chosen me to be their voice in Parliament for the sixth time makes me both proud and grateful.

The result is humbling, as I received more votes – 35,179 – and a greater share of the vote – 70 per cent – than ever before.

Never having had feelings of entitlement means that I have never been complacent about elections. Put simply: for me every vote must be earned and so deserved.

People having placed their trust in me, I know that I must do my all to repay it and will never take for granted the privilege of speaking for you in Parliament.

Election nights are always exciting. Once the polls closed at 10pm on June 8, the ballot boxes from all over the constituency were taken to Springfields in Spalding where the other candidates and I, along with our campaign teams and guests, were able to watch every single vote being counted.

It was wonderful to witness the dedicated team that did so, working all through the night in the service of our free and fair democracy.

Once the result was declared at about 3am, I thanked those who made my success possible: my campaign team, the hundreds of volunteers who helped me, my wonderful wife, Susan, and my 35,179 voters.

I paid tribute, as well, to my principal opponent, Mr Kowalewski, for the gracious remarks he made about my popularity.

The exchanges which we had over the last few weeks have been frank – as they should be – but unfailingly courteous.

I will now continue to do my very best to represent all the people of South Holland and the Deepings, without fear or favour.

In Parliament, the national interest motivates all I do, and so I was delighted to learn that I will continue as a Government Minister at the Department for Transport.

But my chief ambition remains to be dedicated constituency MP, working to promote the common good and so better the lives of those who live where I live.

That has been, is now, and will always be, my mission.