New Tory chairman Brandon Lewis vows ‘my patch still comes first’
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New Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis has vowed that his promotion will be good news for Great Yarmouth and the East.
Mr Lewis said his constituency will continue to come first, adding that as a full member of the cabinet he will be able to highlight issues facing East Anglia with ministers.
Theresa May appointed Mr Lewis both chairman of the party and minister without portfolio during last week's reshuffle. The 46-year-old, who has been Great Yarmouth MP since 2010, has identified using technology as a campaigning tool and reaching out to younger voters as being among his biggest tasks now he has started his new job.
'My first duty as a member of parliament is to represent the people of Great Yarmouth,' he said. 'I will be doing that in the same way I have always done. I have always taken the view that one of the benefits of being a minister, and now as a full member of the cabinet, is that I have a regular opportunity to lobby those secretary of states about the things we want to get going our way – in East Anglia and across the country.
'I have been able to talk to people directly about a lot of things. And we have seen the benefit of that – investment in our roads, investment in the river crossing. But it is a team effort of course. I was able to lobby in Westminster but the team locally put together a fantastic business case.'
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And Mr Lewis added that he was excited to see more progress for Great Yarmouth in the coming year: 'Even if you think something is good – it can always be better. We still need to see improvements with our railway station. It has improved a lot since 2009 but it is still nowhere near where we want it to be. I'll be continuing to work on that.
'If you look at the money we have secured for the flood defences, the A47 and the third river crossing we need to make sure that is delivered and done well. Then we can really start pushing for the dualling of the Acle Straight.'
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Mr Lewis also pledged to ensure candidates behave responsibly and show respect online by announcing a new code of conduct. He told The Andrew Marr Show: 'If our candidates in the elections breach that code and there is evidence they've breached that responsibility pledge, we will suspend them.'