To every single voter that supported me, thank you. To the campaigners who spend six weeks working alongside me, in rain and shine, thank you. I was lucky enough to have the company of some of the kindest, most giving, most passionate and yet humble political friends I could imagine.
We now need to listen and reflect as a party; this is not the end of our fight locally for a more equal, kinder politics that rejects austerity and champions diversity – the fight for all those things very much continues and I will continue to be here holding the new MP for Dover & Deal, other Conservative MPs in Kent and the wider government to account – because that is what a strong opposition must do.
Our core vote, that which had held with Labour for decades and decades, didn’t hold last night and we – and I myself of course – will be asking ourselves why. There is plenty of time for this introspection and reflection over the festive period and hopefully, in 2020, a new energy will emerge as we take our fight to Johnsonian mistruths and a society that seems to be on the precipice of seismic change.
So, I will take a little time away from social media if I may, to be with my family, put up my tree and think. I remain very proud of our local campaign and of my friends here. We didn’t win last night, I just really hope that in the long run, it isn’t the working man and woman in this country that truly loses out under this Conservative government: our coastal communities can’t afford to be left behind any more.
Merry Christmas Everyone; like Santa, I’m still wearing red.