As MPs work through the final days of this parliament and we all moan about the state of PMQs, behind the scenes there will be many from all parties sad to lose ‘friends’ from all sides of the political spectrum.
Despite PMQs the way the Commons works ensures that in All PArty Groups, Select Committees and even Bill Committees MPs from across the political divide spend a great deal of time together and believe it or not agreeing on much of the legislation. Whilst in an election the parties want to win – and that obviously means taking seats of existing MPs from each other I know from experience how much some MPs will offer their genuine best wishes to win and return! Representing a marginal seat anybody could see I was going to lose on the polling we had in 2010 meant that many from the Tories, Lib Dems, DuP and even dare I say it the SNP were personally very kind in wishing my return and then equally saddened once we had lost to lose either a great advocate for similar cause, a sporting friend or simply people who ‘got on together’ even though politically diverse.
As I have written many times losing was a horrible yet liberating experience and I hope that many of those choosing to stand down are able to move on and those that lose can similarly adjust to life outside the Westminster bubble. Knowing there are many friends across the political divide helps but is little understood outside the Commons and looked upon by many with some suspicion. I think its a good thing!