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During Tuesday's debate concentrating on the economy, two of the new Conservative MPs making maiden speeches hgihglighted the needs to get to grips with the deficit.

David Rutley Commons David Rutley, who stepped into Sir Nicholas Winterton's shoes as MP for Macclesfield, explained:

"We have to get this economy working again, which means that we must
focus on reducing the deficit. When I had the honour of being a special
adviser in the Treasury, working with “canny Ken” as the Chancellor, I
learnt a lesson: we cannot spend what we do not have. That lesson has
not been lost on the Government side of the House.

"Having worked
in the real world of commerce and industry for more than 20 years in
companies such as Asda and PepsiCo, it is clear to me that growth is
not determined by state diktat, but based on the decisions of thousands
of brave businesses. Growth is developed only in a truly competitive
private sector. That is what we need to create jobs, provide valued
public services and support those in genuine need. That task will
always motivate me as long as I serve the people of Macclesfield in
this House."

Jo Johnson Commons Jo Johnson, the newly-elected MP for Orpington, agreed on the new Government's priority:

"The priority now is to achieve an accelerated reduction of the £156
billion deficit and it is one that I wholeheartedly support, as I
support the creative and compassionate ways that I know the Government
will use to go about that difficult task. The £6 billion of cuts
already announced is barely a start in the process. I look forward to
the emergency Budget on 22 June and the public consultations on the
role of the state, which will follow."

He also emphasised that he is no carbon copy of his brother, Boris:

"At the outset, I should make a declaration, as we do a lot of that at the start of Parliaments. Anyone hoping that I will enliven proceedings in the manner of one of my elder brothers, the former Member for Henley, is likely to be disappointed. Private Eye, in the issue on newsstands at the moment, has helped me to set expectations appropriately low. It quotes an unnamed Oxford contemporary, in the first of a series that it is doing on new Members, and that friendly Oxford contemporary of mine says:

“He could not be more different to Boris. It’s as though the humour gene by-passed Jo altogether and he inherited only the ambition gene.”

"It is an absolutely fair comment, but I do not really apologise for the humour-ectomy, nor, indeed, for any hint of ambition that the House might detect, because these are serious times and politicians need to be ambitious when the country is in such a mess. History will not forgive us if we flannel around in the House over the next five years and fail to pick the economy up off the floor, where it is at present."

Jonathan Isaby

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