The situation at Westminster is both unusual and uncertain at the moment, as no one political party has a majority.
The General Election delivered a result that no one – apart from one poll regarded as a ‘rogue’ one – had predicted. However, in a democracy, politicians cannot complain when the public delivers its verdict.
My party did well locally, and I thank many of you for your continued and growing support. However, in my view the Conservative Party national campaign was poor.
The Conservative Party now needs to take stock and learn lessons from this experience.
At Westminster, the Conservatives remain the largest party and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland has now agreed to support them on votes on the Queen’s Speech, the Budget, and on legislation relating to Brexit and national security.
This agreement will ensure that Theresa May can govern in the national interest – keeping our country safe and also securing our departure from the European Union.
On pensions, many of you made your feeling clear to me during the campaign that you supported the pensions “triple lock” I am pleased that the Government has now agreed that there will be no change to the triple lock for the duration of this Parliament.
There will be no change to the universal nature of the Winter Fuel Payment either.
The Prime Minister said that she would listen to what people said during election campaign and these are examples of her doing so. In recognition of the importance of agriculture, I am pleased that the Government has also agreed to continue to commit the same total in funds for farm support until the end of the Parliament.
We will also be re-claiming our traditional fishing rights as we leave the European Union.
The election result nationally may have pleased no-one but it is right that those who were elected now try to deliver policies that are in the national interest.
When this happens, I will certainly give such proposals my support.