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Newbury’s new MP, Liberal Democrat Lee Dillon, talks to Newburytoday about his first days in Parliament





Lee Dillon is the new Liberal Democrat MP for Newbury.

He knocked the Conservative incumbent Laura Farris off her perch with a majority of nearly 2,400.

He’s been ‘Tweeting’ excitedly from the House of Commons where he has been getting his pass sorted out.

And he has managed to find the Strangers Bar (one of a few fine hostelries in the Palace of Westminster) and get in the photo of newly elected MPs.

“It is an amazing building and having been a follower of politics my whole life, clearly there is an excitement about being in the building,” he says.

“It was a really well organised induction programme with HR, so we are all set up now to start serving residents.

“In fact I have already had a call from a resident about an immigration visa.”

He says he saw some MPs in the palace as the new guard replaced the old.

“We had to Google them to see if they were still in office,” he adds.

“I was walking down from the hotel with some others of us, and none of us had anything yellow on. I have a blue tie on.

“But it looks like the Labour guys have all bought the same tie - a maroon red one.”

The excitement is clear!

He says he had a good response on the doors throughout the campaign.

“The feedback was positive and I was quietly confident,” he says.

“Because of the verification stage which happens earlier, we knew we had won from about 12.30am really.

“So there was a lot of waiting around for the result.

“There was some emotion at making Newbury go back to the Lib Dems.

“Obviously I phoned my parents and sister when the result was announced, and we got the kids down on the sofa, and turned the envelope which said Member of Parliament which created much excitement.”

He says the outgoing Laura Farris has been “excellent and really helpful” and she has even offered him the keys to her office in Newbury.

Mr Dillon says he is handing his IT back to his employer Sovereign Housing on Friday, and has already started working as an MP.

"First and foremost I am a constituency MP so want to be in Newbury rather than in Westminster,” he says.

“We have the most MPs we have had in a hundred years so we will have more opposition days and more questions at PMQs.

“We will have a lot more air time in the chamber and the media which means Labour will have to listen to us.

“We need cross-party working. I have made sure to speak to newly elected Labour and Conservative MPs, because for me, a bit like when I was at West Berkshire as the leader I thought about trying to change the tone of politics.

“It’s going to be a bigger challenge in Parliament but is still part of my values.”

Does he see his future as a cross bencher?

“No. I see myself as a Lib Dem MP working across the chamber where we can find agreement,” he says.

Mr Dillon stepped down from running West Berkshire Council early this year, but still holds an executive position as portfolio holder for public safety, but he intends to step down after talks with his local party.

“It is my intention to be in the constituency as much as possible, and will probably only stay over on the Monday night, come home on Tuesday after the 7’o’clock division, commute in on Wednesdays and Thursdays and then Friday in Newbury,” he adds.



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