Alexander Stafford reflects on “very tough” first year as MP
Rother Valley’s MP Alexander Stafford has had an action-packed year – as if becoming a fist-time father wasn’t enough to keep busy, he has also had the job of guiding his constituents through weathering the storm of a global pandemic.
Mr Stafford was elected as Rother Valley’s first Conservative MP in December 2019, which was a “great honour and privilege”, and has been welcomed with open arms by his “straight talking” constituents.
Reflecting on the last year, Mr Stafford said: “It’s not a year that any of us expected. This year has gone from the jubilation of winning the election last December, and then this global pandemic hits, and that’s where everything was thrown off kilter.
“For a lot of people, it’s been a very tough year, but at least we’re ending 2020 with a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Throughout his first year as MP, Mr Stafford became a father to daughter Persephone, paid tribute to his “industrious, hard-working, family loving, patriotic” constituents in his maiden speech, lent his support to various local campaigns, such as the fight to save Maltby Miners’ Welfare Institute, and spoke out against trolling on social media.
Mr Stafford hopes that in 2021, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will continue to be rolled out, and added that protecting the economy from the aftershock of the pandemic is a priority.
“Hopefully we can continue rolling out the vaccine and knock it on the head, and then we can get round to protecting the economy. The government has invested £300 plus billion to support jobs and the economy in this pandemic, but that money still needs to be paid back.
“One thing I’m constantly talking about in Parliament is creating those high skilled jobs, mainly manufacturing jobs for the future. We have a hugely skilled workforce in Rother Valley, but we just need to make sure that there are jobs for young people.”
Mr Stafford predicted “tough economic times” over the next year, but believes that the country and his constituency will “bounce back”.
He praised the governments handling of the pandemic, adding that although the Conservatives “may not have got everything right all the time”, the support the government gave on the whole was one of the “biggest in the world”.
Mr Stafford encouraged his constituents to get in touch with any problems, adding that he is always “here to help”.