When former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stepped out into the rain on that fateful Wednesday in May to call the General Election, I could almost hear people across East Devon breathe a sigh of relief.

Finally, after a period of chaos and decline, we would have the chance to pass judgement on a Conservative Government that had lost its way.

Like many MPs, I went into the campaign not knowing whether I would be returned to Parliament. The contest in Honiton & Sidmouth was between two MPs who served in the 2019 Parliament, and I was conscious that the role of MP should be earned through hard work and public service.

I heard during conversations on the streets of Sidmouth and Ottery that Simon Jupp had tried hard to work for local people, but that the antics of others in his party at Westminster could not be overlooked.

Throughout the campaign, I sought to demonstrate the difference that having a hard-working Liberal Democrat MP can make. That’s why I spoke so much about what I would “demand better” for – such as our local health services, and for our natural environment.

There is no time for a victory lap. There is far too much to do – on these and other causes that I have discussed with thousands of residents on doorsteps. I’ve hit the ground running, raising several issues with Ministers, and will continue in that vein.

We do not know what to expect from the Labour government in Westminster. Their manifesto did not contain many detailed pledges, so in the weeks ahead we will see what their approach to governing will be.

I will hold Ministers to account firmly, but I won’t provide opposition for its own sake. I will seek instead to work across the aisle on those occasions when it can help get action to address an issue that matters to you. Access to GP appointments and sewage spills are examples that have been raised by people here in recent weeks.

As your MP, I promise to work night and day to repay the trust placed in me, whether you voted for me or not. If you need my help, then you can email me at Richard.Foord.MP@parliament.uk or contact me via my website: www.RichardFoord.org.uk

My team and I will be held to the highest standards. I’ll aim always to play it straight, roll up my sleeves, and I won’t forget that I was elected to serve you.