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Sir David was a great man and a kind friend

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Column by Rutland and Melton MP Alicia Kearns

Sir David Amess was a great man, a gentle man, and a kind friend. I’ve been so touched by the messages I’ve received from people across Rutland expressing their condolences. Thank you to everyone who wrote. I can’t tell you how much it touched me to receive such thoughtful words at a time of heartache.

David was a great MP. He devoted his entire life to improving the lot of people in Southend. He was a mentor to new MPs – always happy to chat, always lending a hand and nothing was too much trouble.

Alicia Kearns (50567301)
Alicia Kearns (50567301)

Only last week while in Qatar he was helping me to try and bring Afghan refugees I’ve been sorting back to the UK. But he was murdered doing what he loved - meeting the people he represented in Parliament.

He didn’t pull others down. He didn’t attack others – the tributes in the House of Commons on Monday showed how highly he was regarded across political parties, generations and any other divide you could care to mention. David was among the best of us and the House of Commons is the poorer without him. May he rest in peace.

I heard about his senseless murder while in Oakham, shortly after meeting students at Brooke Hill Academy.

In advance of COP26 – the global climate change summit that the UK is hosting in Glasgow next month – the children were desiging their own solutions to achieving Net Zero carbon emissions. With fantastic ideas for what we can do locally and internationally.

There’s something about the minds of our young people that is so inspiring. The suggestions they came up with – from recycling to marine life; re-use of clothes to preserving ecosystems – were simply astounding. Such an impressive school and group of young people! I look forward to hopefully welcoming them to Parliament soon.

The Government, of course, announced the UK’s path to Net Zero earlier this week. It will secure £90bn of inward investment to transform our economy. This will secure 440,000 well-paid jobs. It will strengthen our energy security, helping to reduce imports from overseas. We are world leaders in renewable energy – and this will help to make the country – and the world – a more sustainable place. It will also enable us all to play our part by gradually moving to heat pumps in our homes.

Closer to home, I know that GP access is one of the most important things to people across our communities in Rutland. Everyone deserves access to healthcare of exceptional quality, when we most need it. I am working with the clinical commissioning group to secure better access and they’ve been investing significant time in improving telephone access and provision in Oakham. Nationally, the Government is investing heavily in making our GPs more accessible. The new investment of over £260m, will expand GP capacity, improve telephone systems to make getting an appointment easier, and support our GP surgeries to provide more face-to-face appointments.

I have made improving healthcare locally one of my top priorities – and I will not stop standing up for those in Rutland to get the care that we all deserve. I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend ahead of you, and for those with children, have a stress-free half term when it starts. If you’re looking for a way to occupy your little ones for a few hours, why not have them design my Christmas card - it’s Christmas animal themed? Details are available on my website, aliciakearns.com but the Prime Minister and many more people will receive my card and I’d love it to be designed by a local child!

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