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Grantham and Stamford MP Gareth Davies reacts to installation of statue of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Grantham

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This week we saw Britain’s first woman Prime Minister recognised in her home town of Grantham, writes MP for Grantham, Stamford and Bourne Gareth Davies.

The impressive statue stands moments from Edith Smith Way, named in honour of Britain’s first female police officer. These women showed that when there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit. So whatever your politics, we in Lincolnshire should recognise our area’s place in history, especially when it comes to ground-breaking women.

Of course, we are blessed with prime ministerial pedigree across the span of the constituency. William Cecil, Lord Burghley - born in Bourne and a resident of Stamford - served as MP for Lincolnshire and acted as principal advisor to Queen Elizabeth I. Even though the role would not be officially established until the 18th Century, Lord Burghley is undoubtedly in the lineage of the office of Prime Minister (quite literally, in the case of his descendent Lord Salisbury).

The statue of Margaret Thatcher was installed in Grantham last weekend
The statue of Margaret Thatcher was installed in Grantham last weekend

I, for one, would not be at all surprised if the area were to add to this record in the future given that almost every week I am bowled over by our engaged, impressive local students. Last week was no different, as I fielded questions from the politics class at Stamford Endowed Schools on the steps of the historic Westminster Hall in Parliament.

During the students’ visit, I also had the opportunity to outline some of my responsibilities as an MP, including as a member of the Treasury Select Committee. It is a role I take very seriously, especially given the economic situation we find ourselves in today following the war in Ukraine and global pandemic.

MP Gareth Davies
MP Gareth Davies

On Monday, the committee quizzed the Governor of the Bank of England about inflation and what the Bank is doing to make sure prices are brought under better control. I know how hard things are right now for many families across our area, and am pleased government support for those hardest hit has been announced, but I do take comfort that as we heard on Tuesday that unemployment is now the lowest since 1974. This includes over 1 million more disabled people in employment compared to a year ago.

Finally, we heard this week that Finland and Sweden have formally applied to join NATO, bolstering the alliance and striking a strategic blow to Putin. In the interim, the UK has agreed mutual security deals with both countries. All of which builds on existing strong military links through the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), under which British, Finnish and Swedish troops have conducted joint exercises. This is Britain leading on the world stage, playing an active role in the security of our allies.

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