Chloe Smith

A Statement from Chloe Smith, outgoing and former Member of Parliament for Norwich North

Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 29 May 2024 19:28

Today, Parliament was dissolved, ready for a new set of MPs chosen at the General Election on July 4th.  

So I'm no longer your MP and on stepping down, I want to send every good wish to all in Norwich North.  It has been the honour of my life to serve as an Member of Parliament for fifteen years, and I am grateful to everyone who placed their trust in me five times.  I am extremely proud to say I have been the longest serving MP for our city in its modern history.

I would like to thank my former constituents and the fantastic volunteers and small band of staff who have worked alongside me to serve residents.  I reflect on the strength of civic life in north Norwich and I celebrate the people and organisations that make our area what it is.

Norwich would be so much the poorer without the work of local charities, hardworking representatives of national concerns, civic-minded businesses and their champions, parish and town councils who look after the community so ably, teachers and governors, all our emergency services and other public officials, thoughtful faith leaders, those who put Norwich on the map, those who make Norwich unique, pioneers of great ideas, the team who share my passion for jobs and economic opportunity in our community, the volunteers who give young people in the area so much social opportunity and the unforgettable workers who make sure we remember and commemorate.

I’ve just highlighted some of the things I am most inspired by, and they tie to the achievements that I'm most proud of myself - helping thousands of young people into jobs through Norwich for Jobs, and securing major investment to power our city, like the billion-pound new trains.  And these works continue, with Norwich for Jobs growing into Norfolk for Jobs, and the campaign continuing to ensure that we have the infrastructure we need to prosper into the future.  

I also want to hail the thousands of people who I have tried to help, through surgeries and local meetings and myriad ways of listening.  It is a privilege to be able to  say I've worked for tens of thousands of neighbours on every public issue possible.  Being an MP really matters when you can fix a profound problem, or represent someone's serious experience at the highest levels and directly in the House of Commons.

I decided to stand down eighteen months ago for personal reasons, after a tough period that's included a bout with cancer.  It's the right time for me and my family to make a change and I am looking forward to fresh challenges.  I'll continue to hold Norwich and Norfolk so dearly in my heart, including as a trustee of the Big C and an Honorary Fellow at the UEA.

I say this to the next generation of people who will stand up:  it matters that you are an energetic local champion, a clear-eyed national lawmaker and an ambassador for democracy and public service itself.  As I said in my final speech in Parliament, I hope they have the courage to make change, the determination to keep a-troshin' for constituents, and the wisdom to serve our community and our country well.