A kind correspondent this Summer told me how I always choose the wrong candidate when my party picks a leader.
It is true, I backed Jeremy Hunt in 2019 when he stood against Boris Johnson and I campaigned for Rishi Sunak against Liz Truss.
I would contest that, while history records I did not support the winner in either case, I didn’t back the wrong guy and I stand by both of them.
Fortunately, second chances do exist and we now have both Jeremy and Rishi in Downing Street.
I am delighted. Both are friends - among the nicest people in politics - and they will bring calm.
Our new Prime Minister was right to say, in his first statement, that our country is facing a profound economic crisis.
The aftermath of Covid still lingers while Putin’s war in Ukraine has destabilised energy markets and supply chains the world over.
He was also typically gracious in thanking his two immediate predecessors for their contribution but wise to admit mistakes were made.
Rishi has been elected as leader of my party, and your Prime Minister, in part, to fix them.
Jeremy Hunt has already begun that work and he will form a solid team with his new boss.
They will place economic stability and confidence at the heart of this government’s agenda.
This will mean difficult decisions to come.
But you saw this PM during Covid, doing everything he could, to protect people and businesses, with schemes like furlough.
There are always limits, more so now than ever, but Rishi will bring that same compassion to the challenges we face today.
His government will not leave the next generation, your children and grandchildren, with a debt to settle that we were too weak to pay ourselves.
As he said this week, “I will unite our country, not with words, but with action.”
And I know this government will have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level. Trust is earned and we have work to do.
Some people say they’re should be a General Election now. They didn’t say that when Tony Blair handed over to Gordon Brown but they’d have been wrong then, as now, if they had.
The mandate my party earned in 2019, when you elected me for a fourth time, is not the sole property of any one individual, it derives from commanding a majority in the Commons.
And the heart of that mandate is our manifesto. As Rishi made clear, we will deliver on it.
A stronger NHS, better schools, safer streets, protecting our environment and supporting our armed forces.
Levelling up was not a Boris mission - it is a national mission and we will build an economy where businesses invest, innovate, and create jobs.
I understand how difficult this moment is for my constituents.
After the billions of pounds it cost to combat Covid, after all the dislocation that caused in the midst of a terrible war times are tough.
Good politicians reach out and put your needs above politics.
We did that in the Conservative/Liberal coalition and we will do it again now.
Some people say, for their own partisan advantage, the Government has disappeared down some ideological right-wing rabbit hole and for a while there it was an argument that landed. Not anymore.
The one-nation element of the Government is back in control and, while I appreciate that’s disappointing for some, it’s great news for Winchester & Chandler’s Ford and it’s great news for our country.
There is always the light of hope but, this week fittingly as we mark Diwali, that just shone a little brighter.