Watch: Ipswich MP Tom Hunt makes Maiden Speech in House of Commons
PUBLISHED: 17:29 14 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:46 15 January 2020
Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has made his Maiden Speech in the House of Commons – admitting that when it comes to football he prefers The Toon to The Town!
The new MP followed Parliamentary protocol by praising the work of his predecessor and mentioning other former MPs, including Jamie Cann and Ben Gummer, during his 10-minute speech during the debate on the Queen's Speech.
He told MPs that he appreciated how important Ipswich Town was to his constituency and he would be cheering on the club as it tried to regain its glory days - but he had been a lifelong Newcastle fan. However he acknowledged that both clubs owed a huge debt to Sir Bobby Robson.
It is traditional for MPs to make a non-controversial speech to start their Commons career and Mr Hunt talked about Ipswich's footballing heritage and about its friendly debate with local neighbours Colchester over the claim to be the oldest town in the country.
He said: "We all need to work together to believe that the town's best days are in front of us and not behind us.
"I welcome the fact that so many northern communities now have Conservatives representing them in this place, often for the first time. We hear, understandably, how many living in these communities feel that their areas have been left behind.
"However many in the town that I represent feel exactly the same way and their concerns should not be forgotten in the stampede, quite rightly, to invest in the north."
He called for more funding in the region's schools, transport infrastructure and policing - pointing out that Suffolk had one of the worst police settlements in the country.
Mr Hunt also spoke about law and order: "Knife crime and county lines have destroyed the lives of many young people in my constituency.
"We must be calculating and ruthless in going after the gangs who sponsored this evil and we need tougher sentencing to act as a deterrent, Justice must be done and must be seen to be done."
And Mr Hunt called for more to be done to provide children with the education they needed for their own needs.
He told that being diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 12 meant he got support from his school - but was aware that support was not available for everyone in his situation.