A borough MP has made his first ever speech in Parliament after his historic general election victory in December.
James Grundy became Leigh’s first ever Conservative MP at the pre-Christmas election, taking what many saw as a safe Labour seat from Jo Platt in one of the biggest shocks in recent political history.
As part of a long-standing Parliamentary convention, new MPs are required to make a maiden speech, and Mr Grundy used this as an opportunity to praise his constituency and champion the key issues that affect his constituents.
Upon opening his speech, Mr Grundy paid tribute to his predecessor, Jo Platt, who he has known since she was elected to Wigan Council in 2012. He also praised Andy Burnham for his work alongside Theresa May, during her time as Home Secretary, helping the families of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.
He also highlighted his fight to “Get Bypass Done”, referring to the completion of the Atherleigh Way bypass, as well as outlining his ambition to reconnect Leigh to the national rail network with new stations at both Kenyon Junction and Golborne.
During the speech, which took place during a debate on the budget, Mr Grundy also welcomed the Chancellor’s new Affordable Housing fund, a £12.2 billion multi-year settlement that he outlined would be spent on building affordable homes on brownfield sites.
Commenting after his appearance in the Commons, Mr Grundy said: “It was a proud moment to stand up in Parliament and deliver my maiden speech as the first Conservative MP to ever represent the Leigh constituency.
“Given that the debate I delivered my maiden speech in was dedicated to the budget, I felt it was only right to outline my own ‘long-term economic plan’ for Leigh, which I’m hopeful that the Chancellor will take note of.
“Although this was my formal maiden speech, I have already asked questions to Ministers in the House, on matters such as GMSF, as well as attending meetings with the Home Secretary about local crime and the Secretary of State for Transport to raise my concerns about HS2.
“I look forward to continuing my work on these important matters over the coming months and years.”