Rushcliffe MP Ruth Edwards has given her maiden parliamentary speech and said she hopes her predecessor Ken Clarke will become a peer and enter the House of Lords.
Paying tribute to the veteran politician, Ruth said: “Ken served the people of Rushcliffe for 49 years and served our country in many of its great offices of state. He was a friend, sparring partner and mentor to many on both sides of the political debate.
“Following such a great politician is an immense privilege, and I am incredibly grateful for his advice, encouragement and endorsement as his successor in Rushcliffe.
“Ken’s experience, wisdom and commitment to one nation Conservative values are needed at this pivotal time for our country. I sincerely hope he will soon be joining our colleagues on the red benches of the other place.”
She also thanked the people of Rushcliffe for putting their faith in her and added:
“Rushcliffe is a very special place. It is consistently ranked one of the best places to live in the UK. We have world-famous sports grounds, such as Trent Bridge, Nottingham Forest, who will be promoted this season, and a thriving grassroots sports scene.
“The vibrant town of West Bridgford in the north of the constituency gives way to rolling countryside and the tranquil waters of the Grantham canal. It is dotted with villages, large and small, and we are home to many historic traditions, such as the annual wrestling match in the village of Bunny, for example, for which the prize was a gold lace cap.”
Speaking during the Agriculture Bill debate, Ruth welcomed the stronger focus on food production and food security alongside environmental protections in the proposed legislation.
“I am delighted that the Government is encouraging the environmentally sustainable production of food, and I hope the high welfare and environmental standards adhered to by British farmers will be imposed on food imported into our market, so that our farmers have a level playing field.”