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David Rutley and Jo Johnson agree that tackling the deficit should be the Government's priority in their maiden speeches

During Tuesday's debate concentrating on the economy, two of the new Conservative MPs making maiden speeches hgihglighted the needs to get to grips with the deficit.

David Rutley Commons David Rutley, who stepped into Sir Nicholas Winterton's shoes as MP for Macclesfield, explained:

"We have to get this economy working again, which means that we must focus on reducing the deficit. When I had the honour of being a special adviser in the Treasury, working with “canny Ken” as the Chancellor, I learnt a lesson: we cannot spend what we do not have. That lesson has not been lost on the Government side of the House.

"Having worked in the real world of commerce and industry for more than 20 years in companies such as Asda and PepsiCo, it is clear to me that growth is not determined by state diktat, but based on the decisions of thousands of brave businesses. Growth is developed only in a truly competitive private sector. That is what we need to create jobs, provide valued public services and support those in genuine need. That task will always motivate me as long as I serve the people of Macclesfield in this House."

Jo Johnson Commons Jo Johnson, the newly-elected MP for Orpington, agreed on the new Government's priority:

"The priority now is to achieve an accelerated reduction of the £156 billion deficit and it is one that I wholeheartedly support, as I support the creative and compassionate ways that I know the Government will use to go about that difficult task. The £6 billion of cuts already announced is barely a start in the process. I look forward to the emergency Budget on 22 June and the public consultations on the role of the state, which will follow."

He also emphasised that he is no carbon copy of his brother, Boris:

"At the outset, I should make a declaration, as we do a lot of that at the start of Parliaments. Anyone hoping that I will enliven proceedings in the manner of one of my elder brothers, the former Member for Henley, is likely to be disappointed. Private Eye, in the issue on newsstands at the moment, has helped me to set expectations appropriately low. It quotes an unnamed Oxford contemporary, in the first of a series that it is doing on new Members, and that friendly Oxford contemporary of mine says:

“He could not be more different to Boris. It’s as though the humour gene by-passed Jo altogether and he inherited only the ambition gene.”

"It is an absolutely fair comment, but I do not really apologise for the humour-ectomy, nor, indeed, for any hint of ambition that the House might detect, because these are serious times and politicians need to be ambitious when the country is in such a mess. History will not forgive us if we flannel around in the House over the next five years and fail to pick the economy up off the floor, where it is at present."

Jonathan Isaby


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