Blue power sweeps city: Returning MPs look ahead to the next five years

Iain Stewart MP wins MK South election
Iain Stewart MP wins MK South election

MK voters chose to keep the city blue as Conservatives Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart were re-elected with increased majorities last week.

A combined total of almost 20,000 votes separated the Tories from their closest challengers as Labour suffered two disappointing defeats.

Mark Lancaster MP wins MK North election

Mark Lancaster MP wins MK North election

Despite political pundit Lord Ashcroft predicting a Labour win three weeks before the election, the party’s share of the vote in the south was less than in 2010.

While over in the north, Labour’s number of votes increased by more than 3,000.

But that didn’t stop Mr Lancaster celebrating at the end of a long campaign – especially after being promoted to junior defence minister by the Prime Minister on his 45th birthday.

Mr Lancaster, who is a qualified bomb disposal officer in the Army Reserve, said it was a very pleasant surprise to be told the news in Number 10 by David Cameron.

“I want the public’s help to create a clear vision for the city for the next 50 years.”

Iain Stewart MP

The new Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans said: “Having been a serving soldier for 27 years in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia, I have some knowledge in this area.

“And to get to work in the Ministry of Defence is a dream job for me.

“It’s easy to forget that military families are impacted by a unique way of life so it is important to do everything we can to support them, too.

“That’s why I will be focusing on their welfare and our veterans too.

“So I am excited about the new challenge, but my absolute priority is being an MP for MK North.”

As the news sunk in that MK South MP Iain Stewart had been re-elected, the “humbled” Scotsman was straight back to working on his priorities for the next five years.

Mr Stewart has pledged to help more people buy their first home, call for transport and infrastructure improvements for a growing population and campaign for upgrades to the hospital and GP surgeries.

But the MP, who increased his majority by more than 3,000 votes, says he wants the public’s help to create a clear vision for the city for the next 50 years.

“Milton Keynes was so carefully planned and designed when it was formed as a new city,” said Mr Stewart.

“So now I want to take the same considered approach for its future.

“Do we continue to expand our ecological footprint or does it become a regional hub of network development?

“We have the time and space to look at all the different options because we have big decisions ahead.”

A future possibility could be to hold a borough-wide referendum following last week’s Business Neighbourhood Plan for CMK.

Mr Stewart added: “There are lessons to learn. Although it was a useful project for the centre of MK, there was not enough engagement with people to have a proper debate. We need a vision for the whole place.

“It should not be done without thinking through all the consequences and it has to be decided by us all.”