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Election 2010: Oliver Letwin hopes for cabinet post
WEST Dorset MP Oliver Letwin is working with David Cameron to create a Conservative-led government in which he hopes to be part of the cabinet.
Mr Letwin increased his majority in Thursday’s election to hold on to the seat that has been his since 1997.
He told the Echo he had not had time to celebrate though as he rushed straight to London on Thursday morning to work on bringing the Conservatives to power despite failing to land a majority at the polls.
How did you celebrate holding your seat in West Dorset?
“I did not have any time to celebrate at all.
“When the count was finished and I had finished doing various broadcasts, I got in the car and was driven up to London in order to begin discussions on trying to form a government.
“I did not sleep at all but now I’m fine.”
How have these discussions progressed?
“I unfortunately can’t say anything whatsoever about them. We are not saying anything until it’s the time to.
“What’s important is the substance and not talking about it. I’m staying in London and working all the hours that I have to try to get this to work and in the meantime I’ve started doing my constituency correspondence again.
“I’ll be back in my constituency on Friday morning.”
You did also work in London outside your role as an MP – is that right?
“I gave that up in December.”
Were you surprised by the margin of victory after increasing your majority by 1,462 and getting 27,287 votes?
“I was pleased. There’s no way you can tell if there was a turning point as a candidate.
“You go around speaking to people and I wore out two pairs of shoes going up and down the streets of villages.
“My shoes have just gone off to the menders.
“I did 20 public meetings in village halls answering people’s questions as well as the debates with other candidates.
“I’m sure the huge effort of all the team I had with me did make a difference in persuading people to convert their support to actually going to the polls.
“I want to say thank you to all those who voted for me. Regardless of whether you voted for me as ever before I’m available to help with issues and problems.”
What would you like to see happen now?
“What I would like to happen is a stable and secure government – a Conservative-led government which can make the changes I think we need.
“Essentially our manifesto is about having a smaller government and a bigger society to tackle both the difficulties in the public finances and the problems we have within our society.”
Have you spoken to David Cameron and if he gets to form a cabinet do you see yourself being in it?
“I have spoken to him. I very much hope if there is a Conservative administration that I shall be part of the cabinet.”
Are you hoping to see the dispute over West Dorset District Council’s offices resolved?
“My view is that the move should happen if it saves money for the council tax payer.
“Having studied it in considerable depth as far as I can make out West Dorset District Council has a very good case that they will save money.
“If it does save money I would have thought most people would welcome that.”
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