Newly-elected Melton MP Alicia Kearns said her ‘silent victories’ in support of ordinary constituents would define her time in office, as she made her maiden speech to the House of Commons last night (Monday).
Mrs Kearns maintained the Conservative Party’s stranglehold on the Rutland and Melton seat last month when she was elected by a record majority of 26,924 votes and became only the second female MP to represent the area.
In a wide-ranging speech, she highlighted the beauty, traditions and food heritage of her constituency, praised the work of her predecessor Sir Alan Duncan and gave her views on future defence strategies for the nation.
And she pledged to represent every constituent and strive to solve the issues they have in their lives.
“As significant powers return to this Parliament, our roles as constituency MPs have never been more important,” she told Parliament.
“And Mr Speaker, it is the silent victories that will define my time as an MP.
“To secure new housing for a constituent, to resolve an issue dividing a family, to fix a failure in the system to restore strength and stability to a community. “Mr Speaker it is in our consituents’ darkest moments, when they have nowhere else left to turn, that it is our duty to give voice to the voiceless and speak of the unspeakable, so that no one suffers in silence.”
She thanked residents who voted for her and was gushing in her praise for the heritage of the large consitutency area she now represents: “Honourable and Right Honourable members, the mystical beauty of Rutland and Melton stretches from the Vale of Belvoir in the north, down towards Rutland Water and the delights borrowed from the district of Harborough, the natural landscape being adorned with the architectural majesties of the numerous market towns.
“We are proud of our major role in feeding the nation, with arable, dairy, sheep, pig, poultry and even bison farmers, who for generations past and generations to
come, have ensured that food quality, animal welfare, and environmental conservation are paramount to their trade.
“Towards the centre of the constituency is the rural food capital, Melton Mowbray of pork pie fame, and we can boast that we are home to not one, but two geographically protected delicacies.
“Which are, to repeat: the famous Melton Mowbray pork pie, and Stilton cheese.”
Mrs Kearns, who lives with her husband and young son at Langham, also mentioned the origins of the phrase ‘paint the town red’ which came from the antics in Melton of an alcohol-fueled group of aristocrats in 1837.
She called for respect to be shown for each other by people on both sides of the Brexit debate.
And her ideas about modern warfare, as an expert on defence and counter-terrorism through working in the past for the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, also formed part of her speech.
She said: “It is no longer a story of traditional military conflict: a set battle space, in which infantry, artillery, ships, boats and planes fight it out until the last man is left standing.
“The battle is now fully hybrid in nature.
“By that I mean the sustained and persistent strategic deployment of all potential instruments of influence: economic, informational, military, cultural, cyber, diplomatic, criminal and civil society.”
Mrs Kearns added: “This means the threats we now face are from states who behave like terrorists, and terrorists who behave like states, and individuals who can effect as much damage as previously only states and well funded groups were thought capable.
“Hybrid warfare is no longer an esoteric afterthought, rather the whole lensthrough which our defences and diplomatic efforts should be assessed during the foreign, defence and security review we propose to deliver.
“We must recognise that to protect ourselves, we must bolster and defend all levels of our society – not just military infrastructure and capabilities.
“We must recognise that to defeat our enemies, we will have to possess truly hybrid offensive and defensive capabilities ourselves.”
Rounding off her maiden speech to Parliament, she said: “More than ever now, in a world of hybrid warfare, we must be temperate where possible, decisive where necessary.
“These phrases ‘much in little’, and ‘know thyself’, will also guide me to serve the good people of Rutland and Melton, and to achieve those silent victories.”