It would be very easy to feel a bit sorry for Boris Johnson right now, if only his behaviour and attitude had been more open and genuine over the last decade or two. He was appointed by his party as leader on Tuesday 23rd July and was given the Queens endorsement and crowned Prime Minster the following day and then a day later, given it was the last day of the House of Commons until early September he had one brief opportunity to score some points and chose to shout and point at a number of MPs opposite him which largely made him look like a loser in a corner. Then a week later a by-election took place that he had not had very much influence over in terms of which Tory candidate would be on the voting paper which had been agreed weeks earlier. That this was the same person who 10% of the people in his constituency had called to lose his seat because he had been prosecuted over his false expenses meant he was faced with a major challenge. Then to make matters much more challenging the Green Party along with Plaid Cymru and a number of other small parties chose to work together and support the Liberal Democrat candidate. The constituency had been one that has been a Liberal one in the past so the prospect of the Conservatives remaining as the party in the location was slim, however right now with a brand new Prime Minister they should have stood something of a chance.
However sadly for Boris and his 12 Tory MPs in Sussex and many other Tory MPs across our region, things are now less secure than they were a week ago with one less seat on their benches and one more on the opposite side. One assumes that this will encourage local MPs to engage in a more effective manner in their constituencies to raise the profile of their party and its approach to matters that will be impacting people at the moment. Last week Brighton Housing Trust was visited by Lloyd Russell-Moyle as part of ‘Bring your MP to Work Day’, an initiative set up by the All Party group on legal aid and so it may be that lawyers and charities providing legal advice will have been contacted in other constituencies. Certainly the need for MPs, particularly those representing the party which is currently our Government to make contact with organisations in their constituencies is vital. Along with the legal aid issues that are impacting our nation, a great many other organisations will be badly impacted by our departure from the European Union. One assumes that these will be approached over the next few weeks by the MPs to get some input from them and also for them to listen to people who live and work in their constituency. There appears to be at least two other themes for these meetings to include.
The first is as expressed by Frank Field who has been raising concerns for the workers and the management of Vauxhall in Ellesmere Port regarding the risk of a No Deal Brexit. Of course a big company is easier to engage with than lots of small companies and here in Sussex the number of large companies is much smaller than in locations such as the North West. However the impact of our departure from the EU will affect many small companies too and it seems vital whilst Parliament is closed for MPs to contact the companies in their constituencies to get their views and help to prepare them for what will happen at the beginning of November. The second theme is the decision by Boris to spend a Billion pounds on recruiting a number of police officers to attempt to fill the gap created by the cuts to policing budgets introduced by his party over the last 9 years. The request by Boris and his party for people on twitter to contact him and explain how they would wish the new policing arrangements to look like seems rather strange, given that it will take several years to recruit and train these new police officers. However twitter is clearly not an easy way for most people to respond to such a request and of course many people do not have access to it. However the 12 Tory MPs in Sussex could use the next few weeks to find out from their constituents what their views are on such matters and they can then feed those ideas into the team that Boris has set up to organise this matter!