Dealing with the aftermath of the EU result

EU referendum on June 23
EU referendum on June 23

A week ago we discovered that not only did the great British public vote to leave the European Union, but so did Calderdale.

The decision has predictably created volatility in not only the UK markets but the global markets as well. Our Prime Minister resigned the next day and the Labour Party has descended into free fall.

As someone who voted Remain, I am of course as disappointed as the other 44 per cent of people in Calderdale who wanted to stay, but this referendum has been on the cards for a long time and the British people have spoken.

We have already started to see the short term effects of Brexit. By taking a pause, however, until we elect a new PM, it will give us time to consider how the UK’s best interests can be secured during the negotiations.

This week, potential candidates have come forward hoping to be the next PM. I know and work with each and every one of them and I can happily say that each one is worthy of the job.

Personally, I’m backing Theresa May. Having worked with Theresa over the last year in my role in the Home Office, I have seen her intellect and immense capability first hand. She is widely acknowledged as the most impressive Home Secretary in our nation’s history having lasted the distance.

Having said all of that, the process is democratic and whichever colleague is voted in as leader and PM, it will bring stability back to the government. The new Prime Minister will be chosen by September 2.

Paying tribute to Jo Cox

I haven’t said a great deal in the press about Jo’s murder but I can tell you that it was a huge blow, not only to me personally, but to democracy as a whole.

The nation has been deprived of a very talented young politician and her two children have been robbed of their mother.

As the Calder Valley is a direct neighbour of Batley and Spen, I did occasionally work with Jo and found her to be good fun and highly intelligent.

I was asked last year to be on a debating panel with her in one of her schools in her constituency.

The politician in her absolutely exploited the fact that it was an all girls’ school and I was the only male in a room with over 100 young ladies.

At the same time, however, she mothered me and kept checking to see if I was ok. Teasing but caring!

We often laughed about it and she ribbed me about it frequently after the event.

Rest in Peace Jo in the knowledge that you did have an impact on your country in the short time you were here to serve it.

I for one will always have a memory of you in my heart.

Calder Valley back in business

Finally with all the turmoil over the last few weeks, it was easy to miss the fact that the Calder Valley is back open for business after the floods.

It was wonderful to walk around Brighouse, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd last weekend seeing the annual galas in Brighouse and Mytholmroyd as well as the superbly run Alternative Christmas in Hebden Bridge.

It was a great opportunity to say thank you to the thousands of volunteers who helped us all during the floods. The Christmas dinner, street artists and a fantastic atmosphere were a great way to start Hebden Bridge Arts Festival.

Well done to everyone, as not only was it great fun, but it sent out a very strong message that the Calder Valley is a force to be reckoned with and we are back in business.