“Why are you here today, sir?,” asked the security guard at the entrance to the new bit of the House of Commons, called Portcullis House. Conscious that I would I only get to say these words once, I replied “I’m a new member of parliament.”
“You need the other door, sir.”
We live in an age where a lack of familiarity with the nooks and crannies of Westminster is deemed a leading quality in new politicians. I hope the nearly 19,000 people who honoured me with their vote will not view this lack of geographical knowledge too harshly.
That result last Thursday chimed with what myself and my Conservative colleagues had been hearing on the doorstep for months, but the reality of it is still sinking in. New MPs spend their first days partially dealing with logistics, setting up new offices, recruiting staff, and getting lost in the labyrinthine Palace of Westminster.
But I’ve also met the Anti-Modern Slavery Commissioner in Boston, to begin to tackle the abuse of local workers, helped re-elect John Bercow as Speaker, raised informally the state of our local roads and hospitals with the relevant Secretaries of State – and of course had many conversations about immigration and Europe.
None of this will result in radical changes overnight; perhaps politicians should all be wary of promising miracles. But we have a Conservative majority government. It means my new colleagues and I should – must – spend five years focused like lasers on delivering every word of the manifesto. Online and in this column, I’ll keep you posted.