Andover Advertiser Column

As the Prime Minister sees out her final few days in office, I have been reflecting on the honour it has been to serve this wonderful country under the dignified and committed leadership of Theresa May. She was undoubtably the first feminist Prime Minister, but I am confident she won’t be the last.

What will happen now is that Conservative MPs and Party members will shortly be asked to choose a new Party Leader for the Brexit years to come and to lead us into the next General Election. That means that I, along with Conservative MPs and Party members, will be thinking long and hard in the coming weeks about who we want to deliver Brexit and rebuild the country’s confidence in the Government. My focus at this critical moment is on ensuring that whoever is chosen is able to bring our Party and country back together to deliver Brexit in the national interest so that we can focus on working to address the huge challenges facing our country’s future.

For example, climate change is a global issue which poses a clear threat to our planet’s future and requires a united response. The latest school strikes last Friday, which I know included many local schools, show just how passionate the younger generation in particular are for us to address these vitally important issues. Under this Government we have made great progress in tackling climate change – the last time the UK’s emissions were this low was in 1888!

When the Conservatives came to power in 2010, coal-based generation was over 30% of the total. Since then, our renewable capacity has quadrupled, and the UK has developed the largest installed offshore wind capacity in the world. This has meant that last year more than half of the UK’s electricity was generated from low-carbon sources, the highest ever share, while we recently reached a record 258 hours (and counting at the time of writing!) of continuous coal-free generation.

Finally, you may have seen reported in the press that I am taking a temporary Ministerial leave of absence to look after a sick family member. I am extremely grateful to the Prime Minister for allowing me to take this temporary leave, and huge thanks to my talented colleague Chris Skidmore who will be covering my portfolio as Energy and Clean Growth Minister.

However, my Parliamentary team based in Devizes and Westminster will continue to progress personal casework and policy queries in my absence, so please do continue to contact my office at claire.perry.mp@parliament.uk or call 01380 729358.