COLUMN: MP Matt Western talks football, Rwanda and a general election - The Leamington Observer

COLUMN: MP Matt Western talks football, Rwanda and a general election

Leamington Editorial 2nd May, 2024   0

I WAS sorry to see Coventry City lose (they were robbed, surely?) against Man Utd in a thrilling FA Cup semi-final. However, we had our very own sporting Super Saturday last weekend with two of our local teams, the Leamington Brakes and Warwick Racing Club having major matches over the weekend.

The Brakes were fighting for a place in the playoffs (and secured one) while the Racers had their own playoff final at home (and won it and got promoted). Serious achievements from two brilliant local clubs. At the time of writing the Brakes’ playoff match has yet to happen but I feel optimistic after a fantastic weekend for sport locally.

The success continued into this week with the Leamington Lions Ladies playing their cup final match on Monday evening. An incredible effort with the team winning with an impressive 4-2 victory over Coventry in the Birmingham FA Challenge Vase Final.

We’ve got such a sporting history and present to be proud of here in Warwick, Leamington, Whitnash and the surrounding villages and this past week is proof of that. Their efforts and successes have been seriously impressive, they’ve done us proud.

I know for so many youngsters across our towns and villages, watching these victories and seeing their local team achieve such great things will spark some real excitement in them. I have no doubt that there will be future Brakes, Racers and Lions Ladies players in the crowds at these matches over the last week. The teams are doing something really important, making us proud but also inspiring this next generation.

Turning to Parliament, the main story from last week was that of the Rwanda legislation that was passed. I remain firm in my belief that it is a fundamentally flawed, cruel and unworkable piece of legislation. It will cost a fortune (estimated at £2million per person) and is not a proper plan to stop the dangerous boat crossings, but simply a poor attempt at headline grabbing.

The same week the Prime Minister’s Rwanda gimmick finally passed, five people died in the channel, including a seven-year-old girl. It is utterly horrifying. We need a proper, serious plan to stop these dangerous crossings, stop the gangs exploiting vulnerable people and stop far too many innocent lives being lost in the Channel, the Rwanda plan is not that.

I have voted against this legislation time and time again. It is frustrating and disappointing to see it pass.

It is adding to a grow sense of a Government that is simply in free-fall, far too focused on who should have the top job and who can play the best long game to succeed Mr Sunak, to actually govern and provide policy to fix the issues that are plaguing so many people up and down the country.

When I speak to residents on the doorsteps, I hear the reality of what people are facing – those stuck NHS waiting lists, those with household bills feel like an ever-growing mountain, parents who are desperate to get their children the mental health support they need – this is the reality for people in our towns and up and down the country.

As Mr Sunak sits in Downing Street, formulating his next attempt at headline grabbing, not policy making, I don’t believe he is thinking of those people I mention in our towns and villages, he’s thinking of himself and his party’s fortunes. I just hope he finally comes to the same conclusion a lot of the country has: that we need a general election now.

Matt Western

MP for Warwick and Leamington


Buy Photos

Buy photos online from the Leamington Observer newspaper.

Business Directory

From plumbers, to restaurants, we can provide you with all the info you need.


Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.

Public Notices

View and download all of the public notices in the Leamington Observer.