I AM delighted and honoured that the people of Thirsk, Malton and Filey have placed their confidence in me once again.

I would like to thank everyone who voted and volunteered in this election, for me or any of the other candidates. I am here, of course, for all the residents of this constituency, whatever their political views and allegiances.

This was an election where two key points dominated the doorstep discussions – the first, of course, Brexit, the second, to some extent connected with the first, a general disillusionment with politics and politicians.

Yes, the inability for Parliament to deliver on the result of the referendum, but also the unacceptable, at times disgraceful lack of respect and sometimes vitriolic relationship between politicians and, indeed, between politicians and the media, and the inability and unwillingness for politicians of all party persuasions to work in the national interest.

This must change or our political system will be damaged irretrievably. I am pleased to say the local campaign was conducted in a much better spirit, with all candidates “playing the ball” rather than the person and I pay tribute to their hard work, dedication and willingness to put their head over the parapet.

I will continue to use my best endeavours to achieve a fairer deal for Thirsk, Malton and Filey, a fairer deal for the North and a fairer society.

We managed to convince many who don’t traditionally vote Conservative to do so on this occasion, they will not do so again unless we invest in the North of England, the NHS, our schools, our police forces, housing and reduce the need and use of food banks and homelessness.

I believe that Conservative principles best reflect and complement the facts of life; freedom, opportunity, personal responsibility, looking after the less fortunate in society and how powerful they have been in relieving poverty and improving opportunities for all and living standards.

What we must do is make sure that our free market principles work more effectively for everyone and that we apply sensible check and balances to level the playing field between consumers, SMEs and large multinational businesses.

Finally, thank you to my wife Nikky and my children who willingly pay the price for my privilege of being your Member of Parliament.

Kevin Hollinrake MP, Thirsk Malton and Filey

Thanks for support

As the dust settles on the General Election, I’d like to give a heartfelt thank you to the many volunteers who supported my campaign and to all of the people who voted for a fairer society by backing the Liberal Democrats.

While it was a tough night for the party nationally with the loss of a number of key seats - including that of leader Jo Swinson - there are also bright spots where we made significant gains and returned new MPs.

At the same time I am hugely encouraged by the doubling of the Liberal Democrat vote in our Thirsk and Malton constituency, as well as by the large number of people who came forward to help.

Many volunteers were joining us for the first time, driven into action by their sense of outrage over a lurch to the extremes of left and right by the other two parties, while our membership locally is at its highest level in years.

All of this gives us a sound basis to continue the fight back and we are actively looking for more new members as well as candidates interested in coming forward to stand in future county and district council elections.

Most of all thank you to all the people who laid a foundation for a better future by voting Liberal Democrat - something on which we are determined to continue to build.

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

Di Keal, Parliamentary candidate, Thirsk and Malton, Liberal Democrats

Think of veterans

As we look forward to the festive period and temperatures continue to drop, we must spare a thought for those who have served our country but find themselves homeless.

Research shows around 300 to 400 veterans end up on the streets every year, and up to 4,000 require urgent support to find accommodation.

Under the Armed Forces Covenant, veterans have access to enhanced housing support, but far too many still fall through the gaps.

The No Homeless Veterans campaign, funded by the Forces in Mind Trust, calls on local authorities, homelessness charities and advice agencies to “Think Veteran” when people approach them in housing need, in order to channel them through to the best possible support.

By working with local authorities and providing a clear pathway to housing, we can put an end to this and make sure no veteran is without a home at Christmas.

Ed Tytherleigh, co-chairman of the Confederation of Service Charities, London