Saffron Walden MP Kemi Badenoch tells Parliament more change is needed in the town during maiden speech

PUBLISHED: 17:27 20 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:57 21 July 2017

Kemi Badenoch, Conservative MP for Saffron Walden. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT

Kemi Badenoch, Conservative MP for Saffron Walden. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT

Copyright © 2017 Celia Bartlett Photography. All rights reserved

The newly-elected MP for Saffron Walden has given her maiden speech in the House of Commons.

Addressing the chamber earlier this week, Kemi Badenoch said more change is needed in the town, particularly in improving mobile phone coverage and the railway line from Audley End.

She said: “Much has changed since then [the medieval days of Saffron Walden], but more change is needed - change to the rickety network on which mobile phones operate, change to the inadequate broadband service that has left parts of the constituency with little access to the outside world, and change to the railway line that has become synonymous with being late for work.

“We cannot claim to offer opportunities to rural areas if basic infrastructure is not provided.

“My constituents are more likely to get to Spain faster than London, because we have Stansted, the country’s fourth largest airport.

“It has brought jobs - and noise - and growth to the area on a huge scale, and has cemented my constituency’s position as the epicentre of business, travel and wealth in Essex.”

Ms Badenoch, who was born in Wimbledon and grew up in Nigeria, also said that leaving younger generations with burdens of society’s current debts was “morally wrong”.

She also spoke about Brexit and what it means for the future of the UK.

“We live in difficult times and face historic challenges. People are rightly concerned about what Brexit will mean for the country, for their jobs and for their families.

“But I do not believe that winter is coming. I believe that the vote for Brexit was the greatest ever vote of confidence in the project of the United Kingdom: that vision of a global Britain to which the minister referred.

“It is a project that, as a young African girl, I dreamed about becoming part of. As a British woman, I now have the great honour of delivering that project for my constituents in the greatest parliament on earth.”

Ms Badenoch took up the position after sweeping the floor at the general election earlier this year, securing a near 25,000 majority.

She follows in the footsteps of former Saffron Walden MP, Sir Alan Haselhurst, who she also mentioned in her speech.

She said: “He is well known to many of us here as a former Deputy Speaker and one of the kindest members to grace this house - the ultimate gentleman.

“He is much-loved in the constituency, and I am forever grateful to him for being a brilliant mentor and helping every day of the campaign, come rain or shine.”

To watch the speech, visit http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/06c2eb86-a44b-4a23-8660-85e3e62ffa59?in=17:51:30

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