This was the last day of the autumn parliamentary term and when the House rises for Christmas there is a general debate where MPs have free rein to talk about anything.
I chose to look back on the successes for our area, and in particular the news that the Port of Dover will not be sold off to the French or whoever after the Government rejected the Harbour Board's plans. It was an incredible victory for all those behind the People's Port, and an early Christmas present for all residents.
I am pleased that Ministers have listened to our community, held a proper consultation and decided that it would not be the right thing to sell off the port of Dover overseas.
The current situation is that the sell-off will not happen under the Ports Act 1991. The real issue is what happens next. I hope that Ministers will look at the position, at how the community can come to own the port and at how we can have the big society in Dover. That really matters because it is not just the community, the local authorities, my electors and the unions who want this; the ferry companies and businesses want it, too.
So we have complete unity of purpose and unity of desire across all strands of our community that the port of Dover should become a community port. This is important because a community port could be an engine for the regeneration of Dover and returning Dover to being the jewel in the crown of the nation that it once was.
Read my speech in full here.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term.
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