MP's ambulance pledge as she delivers maiden House of Commons speech

The county's newest Member of Parliament used her maiden House of Commons speech to pledge to campaign for better ambulance services – and also offered thanks to her predecessor.

Helen Morgan MP
Helen Morgan MP

Liberal Democrat Helen Morgan, who swept to an astonishing North Shropshire by-election victory last month, delivered her first speech from the House of Commons' famous green benches this afternoon.

She spoke on an issue that has become a focus since she took office: concern over the current ambulance and health provision in the county.

Watch Helen Morgan's maiden speech here:

Outlining her commitment to the voters, she said: "As their representative on these green benches in the home of democracy, I will always defend their democratic rights and listen to their concerns, regardless of the candidate for whom their vote was cast.

“I will not give up on the fight for the issues that matter most to them: better access to health and ambulance services, a fair deal for our farming community, and proper provision of infrastructure and public services.

“I very much look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of this house to achieve that.”

The Liberal Democrat, who was elected after long-standing North Shropshire MP, Conservative Owen Paterson resigned following a lobbying scandal, also had some kind words for the man she has replaced.

After being clapped to her feet by those in the chamber she said: "I would like to start by thanking my predecessor, Owen Paterson, for almost a quarter of a century of service to the people of North Shropshire, and in particular, for his recent campaign and charitable work for suicide prevention."

Mrs Morgan, who was flanked by Liberal Democrat Leader, Sir Ed Davey, for the speech, used her time to stress the beauty of Shropshire – and its place in history.

Her description of Whitchurch's own link with Number Ten Downing Street drew considerable laughter as she described the Prime Minister passing in and out of the entrance.

She said: "An important staging post on the Roman Road from Shrewsbury, to Chester, it takes its modern name from St Alkmund’s church, originally built with white sandstone quarried in the south of the constituency at Grinshill.

"And here the association continues – this fine white sandstone was also used to make the lintels and door surround of Number 10 Downing Street, and I’m sure the Prime Minister will be reminded of the beautiful constituency of North Shropshire each time he passes through that iconic entrance."

Mrs Morgan was officially speaking during the discussion on the Judicial Review and Courts Bill, and added her own view, calling for the Government to abandon any measures that would stop the public challenging injustice through the courts.

She said: "Threatening to weaken people’s ability to challenge the Government because the courts sometimes rule against you is the act of dictators and despots, not democrats.

“The best way for a Government to avoid that situation is to ensure it acts lawfully in the first place, not legislate to ensure that there is one rule for the citizens of this country and another for its leaders. The circumstances of my election suggest that the majority of voters in North Shropshire would agree."

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