Last week, Luke Graham, MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, delivered his Maiden Speech in the House of Commons. In keeping with tradition, Luke took the House on a whistle-stop tour of the constituency, touching upon its many highlights and points of interest.
Expressing how ‘humbled and excited’ he was to be the new MP for Ochil and South Perthshire Luke began by paying tribute to his predecessors, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh and Gordon Banks.
‘I pay tribute to her work on equality and international issues and hope to continue raising awareness of these issues, [while] Gordon Banks worked tirelessly on constituents’ issues which he achieved with such success, his dedication is still talked about today.’
Luke championed Ochil and South Perthshire’s leading leisure and food and drink industries. Drawing particular attention to Crieff Hydro, Gleneagles, Highland Spring water and distilleries such as The Glenturret – of Famous Grouse fame, Tullibardine and Strathearn, he also highlighted the importance of the agricultural industry which underpins much of the constituency’s economy.
Furthermore, the speech called for greater connectivity – with Luke pledging to seek investment in broadband, road and rail infrastructure – as well as greater social connectivity, with an aim to ending the discord which has prevailed in Scottish and British politics over the last few years.
Bringing his Maiden Speech to a close, Luke stated: ‘We must look to combine inward investment with initiatives to build social capital in areas of deprivation, so we can in turn improve social mobility.
‘More and more our politics seem to be calling for anger and outrage to respond to the challenges we face. The rapid rate of change in 21st Century Britain can make people afraid but rather than calling for ‘days of rage’, I hope we can call for ‘days of courage’.
‘Courage to face the tests of globalisation and help those around us take advantage of those opportunities.
‘Courage to face the challenges of identity and nationhood, understanding that we can remember where we came from while recognising the strength of our United Kingdom.
‘And finally, the courage to stand by our political conviction, but know when to stretch our hands across the aisle for the good of our communities.’