For the party, it is the first since 1996 where we have been in government - with a majority and not in coalition. For me, this is my first conference as a MP. So conference is likely to be different all round, writes Cannock Chase MP Amanda Milling.
There is inevitably a degree to which there is a celebratory feel, particularly for the Party activists – this is, after all the first time they have all got together since the General Election. These are the people who worked so hard on the ground to help us win on the 7th May. Within the first few hours of arriving at conference I bumped into people who helped me with leaflet deliveries and knocking on doors in the weeks in my seat of Cannock Chase. There are also many old friends who I have not seen since our conference last year. They are all congratulating me on my election to Westminster. In some ways it’s a little odd – the election seems ages away now. For the last five months I have been focussing my attention on getting on with the job of being an MP – both in Parliament and in the constituency, as well as getting the office in Hednesford up and running.
It is this, focussing on getting on with the job that we have been elected to do which will, as I see it, be the focus of the next few days. At the time of writing, conference is only in its first few hours so I can’t really report on any specific announcements. However, the posters and banners outlining the overall theme of conference ‘Security, Stability, Opportunity’ and some of key headline policies suggest this focus. In May we were elected into Government, our conference will outline how we are, and will, deliver our manifesto. This was also evident in the Prime Minister’s interview on the Andrew Marr show this morning, which in many ways kick started conference.
In terms of my day, its starts with the opening speeches in the conference hall but then sees me head off to my exercise session for the day. Several weeks ago I signed up to the James Cracknell Rowing Challenge – now I am seriously wondering why. This will see me rowing as part of a team with fellow MPs. I can be sure of one thing, my rowing skills certainly won’t be seeing me get called up to Team GB for Rio 2016.