Newly elected Conservative MP for neighbouring constituency Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Steve Tuckwell, was the guest speaker at the latest Ealing and Acton Business Club breakfast meeting that took place at Doubletree by Hilton in Ealing Common today (21 September 2023).
More than 100 people from local business, arts and politics including Councillor Seema Kumar, Councillor Louise Brett, Councillor John Martin, attended the event chaired by Councillor Julian Gallant.
Mr Tuckwell, who won the seat in a by-election following the resignation of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, spoke of his journey from being a postman to leading large teams at Royal Mail and becoming a local councillor in 2018 and eventually an MP in 2023 when Boris Johnson left Parliament.
He said: “I still have to pinch myself. When I won that title, and they say those two little letters onto your name, I still don’t believe it! It’s an incredibly privileged and honoured tradition for me personally, to be the Member of Parliament for the area in which I spent all my life.”
He also revealed he was a postman when he first started work and how that has helped his career. “I’m still delivering leaflets today actually. I’ve got good insights on how to how to deliver leaflets and yes, I have been chased by a dog!”.
Mr Tuckwell added: “I was sworn in two weeks ago. So I am completely fresh to this role. I’ve stood on the doorsteps and I’ve said I’m not a professional politician. In my 39 years I have worked in performance management, leadership, logistics and you know, now all of a sudden I’m a Member of Parliament.”
One his priorities is around helping small businesses. Mr Tuckwell commented. “What I’m looking to do with my new role, and I’ve spoken to many businesses in the short time that have already been a member of Parliament is to really support small and medium sized business, and be making sure that we champion our high streets. One of the first meetings I had was with the Chamber of Commerce to talk about how we can support business.”
He added: “High streets need our support. There’s too many empty shops in high streets, and I’m listening to some of the great work with the high street task force that you got here in Ealing. So I’m going to be looking to shamelessly steal some of the good work already started!”
Following his talk, Mr Tuckwell took a number of questions from the audience. This included initiatives on how to better support young and their mental health as well as what can be further done to help small businesses.
Chairman of Ealing and Acton Business Club, Councillor Julian Gallant, thanked those attending who also heard from Ealing Trailfinders Foundation and the work they do across the community in offering inclusive sport provision allowing people to play a range of games including rugby, netball and football.