It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what makes a good leader. There are those who believe it is all about micro-management, the firm smack of authority, pushing people around. My own style is the opposite- laying out the strategic direction for a project, hiring the right people to do it and then masterful delegation. I seem to have acquired rather a lot of interests and responsibilities, but it works well because of the brilliant team I have delivering them.
Adam Fico is my Chief of Staff and has run most aspects of my political life for a good few years now; he also masterminds the All Party Group for the Armed Forces which I chair; Amy Swash my Private Secretary especially looks after Constituency correspondence and is a born diplomat on the telephone; Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Longbottom runs the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme; Dr Duncan Depledge looks after my Polar Regions interests; and my long-suffering wife, Philippa runs the diary, the constituency office and local events and engagements. All are true professionals and just ‘get on with it’ without undue interference from me.
I was glad to speak up on Wednesday in a debate in the House of Commons for the hundreds of professional people – from the Police and Ambulance Service; from Odstock Hospital; from Porton Down; from Wiltshire Council and others – who played a part in the appalling poisonings in Salisbury and their aftermath. It was good to know that one of the detectives involved- who lives locally- was in the Commons Gallery for the debate. There were a myriad of different skills and professions involved in it all, each of whom carried out their particular job bravely and professionally under the general lead of the Prime Minister (about whom more later). They were left to get on with it.
The European Research Group, of which I am a supporter, met last Tuesday to discuss Brexit (as we very often do). A few hotheads raised the question of Mrs May’s leadership of the Conservative Party. They were quickly silenced by those of us who realise that if the Brexit negotiations are to be as successful as we hope, now is not the time for a leadership battle or change of PM. They may have their frustrations with the way the negotiations are going, but that is not a good reason for changing the General in the middle of the battle. On the contrary, if we are unhappy with one or another aspects of her leadership, or the direction she is taking in those negotiations then we must make her aware of it, and seek to persuade her to modify her views. So the press reports of that meeting were wholly exaggerated.
Leadership means setting the direction of travel, masterminding the strategy and appointing the right people to carry it out. We must make sure that the PM sets the right strategic direction, but that thereafter Dominic Raab is left alone to get on with it.
North Wiltshire MP James Gray spoke in the House of Commons yesterday during the debate on the Salisbury Incident. Representing all seven Members of Parliament for Wiltshire and Swindon, Mr Gray payed tribute to all those involved in the aftermath of the attack, saying:
“The first thing I think we should do, and it has been done by most speakers throughout the past couple of weeks, is pay enormous tribute to the emergency services in Wiltshire, in particular the ambulance service,...
North Wiltshire MP James Gray has backed British farming at Back British Farming Day in Westminster, recognising the crucial role farmers play in producing food and caring for the countryside.
Farming is the bedrock of the UK’s largest manufacturing sector – food and drink – which contributes over £110 billion to the economy and employs 3.8 million people.
Speaking in Westminster, Mr Gray said: “I am immensely proud to wear the Back British Farming pin badge in support of a...
The final Boundary Commission Report was published this week. In very broad terms, Chippenham comes back to North Wiltshire, but I lose Calne to the Devizes constituency. It more or less takes me back to the seat I represented from 1997-2010, and sad as I would be to lose Calne, Chippenham Town has always been very close to my heart. It all has to be approved by Parliament, so there is a chance that it will not go through. It would cost the Labour Party perhaps 20 seats, since many of their...
Last month, James Gray, MP North Wiltshire, led a cross-party group of MPs and Peers on a visit to Greenland to learn more about how a combination of environmental, economic and geopolitical changes are transforming the country’s prospects.
The group comprised members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Polar Regions, which Mr Gray chairs. In addition to Mr Gray, they were Stephen Hepburn MP, John Mann MP, Mark Menzies MP, Brendan O’Hara MP, Rt Hon Baroness Neville-Jones,...
© 2018 James Gray MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA