My first days in the Commons

“The atmosphere was charged with excitement, rather than confrontation, as the two sides faced each other for the first time since the general election.

For many new MPs like me, this spectacle of a packed Chamber was intoxicating.
We’d gathered to elect the Speaker.

Despite Press speculation, John Bercow was re-elected, but not without some interesting comments from a number of Conservative MPs.

The humour is razor sharp here.

Watching David Cameron acknowledge Mr Bercow’s appointment, I recalled the moment I knew I was destined to play a part in our great democracy.

As dawn rose on 7 May, the Returning Officer made the formal announcement that I’d been elected as MP for South Dorset.

I was extremely tired, proud and elated.

It is a great honour to represent any constituency and the full weight of this responsibility has sunk in over the past few days.

I said in my acceptance speech that I would represent everyone in the constituency, whatever their political creed, and I meant it.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank a large team of volunteers who supported our campaign and made it all possible.

Every Party has its foot soldiers, who work tirelessly behind the scenes for no reward other than to see their candidate win.

Experiencing this at first hand, as I have over the past three years, is very humbling.

Meanwhile, back in the Palace of Westminster, I am beginning to familiarise myself with the many corridors, restaurants, bars, committee rooms and of course the Whips’ office.

On my first day I was met by a bewildering array of people, who ushered me from one room to another, to collect this and that, and receive briefings on various protocols.

As you can imagine, we receive a lot of advice in these first few days, and I’d challenge anyone to remember it all at once.

I think for the time being I shall just look and learn.”