MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

THE national papers have been full of end-of-term, teacher-style reports about the coalition Government’s first few months.

Fortunately not too many of them say “must do better.”

And with the spirit of these columns in mind I thought I would offer my own take from the inside of this revolutionary Government.

It all began back in May with an election result which was not quite what we had wanted nationally.

The deal was done and a partnership was formed culminating in those remarkable pictures of David Cameron and Nick Clegg walking into 10 Downing Street together as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister with smiles on their faces.

Are the parties best friends for the cameras while fighting like cat and dog behind the scenes? The answer is no.

When a Liberal Democrat is at the dispatch box as a Government minister and come under attack from Labour, Conservative backbenchers are quick to speak up in their defence.

It would be very easy to stay quiet but party allegiances are put aside and our coalition colleagues are holding up their end of the bargain just as fairly.

Friendships are being formed across the party divides too.

Myself and new Lib Dem MP for Chippenham, Duncan Hames, took part in an interview together early on and have kept in touch.

I also speak to a number of Labour MP’s on a regular basis like John Woodcock, the new member for Barrow in Furness and Thomas Docherty from Dunfermline and West Fife, who share a common interest in the defence and nuclear industries.

There will be difficult times ahead but it is important this spirit of working together continues

It is vital we meet difficult decisions head on and the best way to do that is by working together.

Finally, last week I met with Adrian Bull, head of UK stakeholder relations for Toshiba Westinghouse as well as the company’s main union Prospect.

They, of course, own Springfields at Salwick and employ hundreds of people in Fylde.

I believe nuclear power is essential when it comes to the renewable energy market and here on the Fylde it’s clear we have the skills and the know-how to make it a success.

As a member of the Conservative backbench energy committee I have a good working relationship with the Energy Minister Charles Hendry and I will certainly be keen to push the case for bringing jobs in this sector to the Fylde in the future.

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