'It certainly has been a year I'll never forget': Luton South MP reflects on a dramatic 12 months since election
After a dramatic 12 months since her election, we asked Luton South MP Rachel Hopkins to relate her experiences of a year marked by Covid and a rallying community spirit in Luton.
It was an absolute privilege to be elected to serve as Member of Parliament for Luton South just over a year ago and it certainly has been a year I’ll never forget.
I couldn’t have ever imagined that within a couple of months, we’d be dealing with a global pandemic and the sad loss of so many lives.
All of us have had to face such significant changes.
It’s been so humbling to see how our community has come together to support each other and to tackle the virus.
I give huge thanks to all our key workers on the frontline who have also kept us going.
While getting on the train to go to work in London isn’t new to me, walking into the Palace of Westminster every day is unlike any other workplace!
It is a beautiful building, although creaking at the seams slightly (and with resident mice).
Some say it’s built to intimidate, but I take my Luton spirit with me every day and get on with the job of representing our wonderfully diverse community of Luton South.
Whether it’s asking questions of Ministers or speaking in debates, I try to focus on the things that matter to my constituents – be it standing up for our NHS and public services, asking for sufficient economic support for people and businesses to get through the Covid-19 pandemic, or pressing to see our food and environmental standards maintained in any future trade deals.
These are just an example of the different things that people get in touch about.
While my team and I have shifted our support surgeries online to help constituents with their issues, the pandemic has sadly meant that I haven’t been able to be out and about in our community as much as I would have liked.
Constituency visits to organisations, businesses and events are such a key part of being an MP – I’m really hoping to be able to see more of you in 2021.