Sarah Jones, Croydon Central’s new MP, is expected to make her maiden speech in Parliament later today.
Jones won the seat for Labour, beating Tory Gavin Barwell with a majority of 5,652 votes in last month’s snap General Election. Barwell has since been hired to work as Chief of Staff for the Prime Minister, Theresa May, at No10 Downing Street, where things are said to be going rather badly for all concerned.
Jones had contested the previous General Election in 2015, losing by just 165 votes.
A maiden speech is something of a rite of passage for all new MPs, helping to establish their presence in the House. Maiden speeches are often used to describe and promote the MP’s constituency. In 2010, Barwell’s maiden speech referred to Croydon’s “image problem”, something which he has actively contributed to, through his involvement in the development blight surrounding the Whitgift Centre.
Sources close to Jones suggest that she has recently revisited Barwell’s first speech, and has determined that hers “will be less reliant on Wikipedia and on tired old clichés”.
Jones is likely to be called to speak during today’s debate on the Grenfell Tower disaster. With residential tower blocks housing hundreds of her constituents, Jones’s contribution to the debate is likely to have wider interest than many maiden speeches.
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