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David Johnston MP - August 2022

on Sun, 17/07/2022 - 4:50pm

As some of you will know, I resigned from my role as PPS to the Department for Education earlier this month. Education is a great passion of mine and I did not take the decision lightly, but I could not defend what was taking place at No 10 this month or indeed these past few months.

When I decided to move from being a charity chief executive to becoming an MP in 2019, most of my family and friends thought I was mad to do so. They are interested in politics and know how much it matters, but they wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole due to the hours, the abuse and the low regard in which many in the public – wrongly in my view – hold politicians.

Politicians should uphold the highest standards and act in a way that is best for the country. We should also consider the politicians who will come after us. It is very important to me that we do all we can to encourage good people into politics so that the country is well served, but events in recent months have made the view of politics and politicians worse and will only put more people off entering it, which I deeply regret. I know some disagree with my decision, but I didn’t believe the Prime Minister could provide the leadership the country currently needs and I think it was the right decision for him to resign.

Such is the funny way things pan out, just before I handed in my resignation, I had a PMQ to deliver. I had arranged to host some of the Ukrainian refugees being hosted in North Moreton at Parliament the previous week and secured them PMQ tickets to sit in the gallery. I had written to the Speaker asking if I could be called on to ask a PMQ that week. I then got word the PM would be abroad for the week I had arranged, so we moved it to the following week. It had been weeks in the planning and now, suddenly, it was one of the most dramatic days for PMQs. I decided to go ahead after I checked with the North Moreton hosts that they were happy with me doing so, which they were – and the refugees they’re hosting were delighted to be referred to. I got a small handful of furious emails from regular correspondents wanting to know why I hadn’t used my PMQ to call on the PM to resign, little realising I had already decided I was going to straight after I had delivered it.

This year’s climate summit was another successful one and I was very pleased to receive input from a range of local and national experts, alongside Alok Sharma and – a particular highlight – children and young people from local primary and secondary schools. If you missed it, you can watch it on my website www.david-johnston.org.uk

As ever, if I can help with anything then do contact me via [email protected]