WHEN I backed Theresa May to take the leadership of the Conservative party and the country I did so partly because I felt that she could provide the combination of strong leadership and moderate centrist policies our country needed to face up to the challenge of Brexit.
Like me she accepted the result of the referendum and wanted to make a success of it and like me she was aware of the challenges it would bring but also the opportunities.
I also did so because the overwhelming feedback I had from constituents in Worcester was that she was the right person for the job.
She was right to run for the leadership of our party and she was also right this week to call a general election.
Since she has been leader of our country, the economy has outperformed all expectations, she has set our bold and ambitious plans not only for our exit from the EU but also for a new partnership between the UK and friends and neighbours in Europe.
Tasked with the monumental challenge of preparing for this new relationship she first bought us time to prepare and then set out detailed and sensible plans.
She has pursued a powerful one nation vision of a country that works for everyone and she has kept promises on moving towards fairer school funding, on pensions and on more resources for our NHS.
With the threat of a second referendum on Scottish independence there is a powerful case to be made for a United Kingdom, a global Britain that looks out to the world with unity and continues to play a leading role in the world.
I shall be campaigning as hard as I can in the weeks ahead to support that vision because I believe it is the best thing for Worcester and the people I have been privileged to serve over the last six years.
Speaking personally the announcement of a General Election is a surprise and a challenge but it is a challenge I am determined to meet.