MPs Share Their New Year's Resolutions For 2024
Firework displays are held in Westminster to celebrate each new year (Alamy)
With next year set to be just as tumultuous as the last, MPs are looking ahead to work out what they want to achieve for themselves, their constituents, and their political parties in 2024.
As PoliticsHome asked MPs what their political New Year's resolutions will be, multiple parliamentarians responded with goals set close to home in their constituencies – no doubt with a watchful eye on the looming general election set to be held in 2024.
Barry Gardiner, Labour MP for Brent North, is determined to get the 2024 calendars that he hand delivers to every home in his constituency done before February. No mean feat, with an electorate of at least 82,648 people, according to the 2011 Census.
Jamie Stone, Liberal Democrat MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, wants to see a new constituency office in Wick officially opened.
"After the boundary changes my constituency will be the biggest ever in the UK," he said.
"Constituents deserve proper representation and support from their MPs and their teams, and that is why in the future there will be not one but two constituency offices in the northernmost mainland constituency in the UK."
New MPs Sarah Dyke and Steve Tuckwell, who won their seats in 2023 by-elections for the Lib Dems and Tories respectively, both have resolutions to continue focusing on delivering for their local patches.
Dyke wants to "work even harder" on behalf of her constituents, while Tuckwell wants to be an "even stronger local voice for the people of Uxbridge & South Ruislip" whilst also "ensuring that Susan Hall gets elected as London's Mayor".
Over in Northern Ireland, SDLP MP for South Belfast Claire Hanna, has a bone to pick with the DUP as she enters the new year.
“I’m going to try to have a better poker face on the benches behind the DUP when they’re speaking about why Northern Ireland shouldn’t have basic governance," she told PoliticsHome. Northern Ireland remains without a functioning devolved government, after hopes for a deal to restore power-sharing in Stormont fell through before Christmas.
John Penrose, Conservative MP for Weston-super-Mare, is determined to push the government for more legislation to tackle online bias and misinformation.
"My New Year's resolution is to get ministers to agree to do more to stop conspiracy theories, scams and fake news online," he said, adding that he also wants to drink less coffee.
Others have resolutions which were somewhat less specific: Alex Davies-Jones, Labour MP for Pontypridd and Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding said her resolutions were for "more mince pies and less mincing my words".
Alex Sobel, Labour MP Leeds North West said that his goal was simply to "be more Bernie".
"Bernie Grant, but Sanders also applicable," he clarified.
Pollster Patrick English, who is Director of Political Analytics at YouGov, has his own political resolutions: "To try to visit as many constituencies as I can, rate their beer gardens, and make another ‘dude doing a podcast’ about it for about ten people to listen to."
With multiple MPs of the past, present (and perhaps future) hosting their own TV, radio and podcast shows already, English will not be the only one in Westminster hoping to continue hitting the podcast airwaves in 2024.
Electoral success is at the top of everybody's minds, with the prospect of a possible change in government looming for the first time in 14 years.
Labour frontbenchers Thangam Debbonaire and Anneliese Dodds are revving up for the general election campaign.
"My New Year's resolution is to wake up every day asking myself what I can do that day to help win the general election and be ready for government if we win," Debbonaire said.
"But that's been my resolution every day for years so not new! Other than that, keep on running and try to fit in more trail running instead of road."
Dodds, who is Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities and Chair of the Labour Party, wants to "pound the pavement at every free moment to deliver Labour MPs across the UK".
Backbench Labour MP Sarah Champion, while also looking forward to an election, hopes to make the most of the remaining parliamentary time to push through change in opposition. She particularly wants more legislative "wins" to tackle sexual violence against women and girls.
"I want to use the last gasps of this Parliament to make as much lasting positive change as I am able," she said.
With the last few weeks of 2023 seeing the Conservative Party wrought with divisions over the government's plans to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda, Tory MPs are looking ahead to polling day with slightly more apprehension.
Philip Dunne, Conservative MP for Ludlow, said: “I would like to see a marked reversal in the opinion polls… to have a fully competitive election.”
Meanwhile, David Duguid, Conservative MP for Banff and Buchan, said he wanted to "crack on with winning the election and to hell with the ‘politics’!" Speaking to PoliticsHome at the Conservative Environment Network's Christmas reception in late December, he expressed frustration that internal rows might threaten his party's electability.
Cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell also expressed his desire for an election win and spelled out his own political resolutions: "Halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut NHS waiting lists, stop the boats... and win the election!"
Some MPs will be standing down at the next election, making it somewhat more difficult for them to set political goals. Chris Skidmore, Conservative MP for Kingswood, described 2024 as an "unknown", as his seat is set to be abolished by the new boundary review and he is not intending to stand elsewhere.
"My resolution is to be more competitive and up the pace of advocating and trying to demystify and sell net zero; that's the challenge for me next year in the run up to the election and also the May regional elections," he said.
"It is championing what I think is the right thing to do, but also championing something that I think benefits local communities... Obviously that will mean me coming up against my own government but I am equally determined to make sure that I make the case cross-party as best possible.”
Others are looking bleakly at their slim electoral majorities. Mark Logan, Conservative MP for Bolton North East – who has a tiny majority of 378 votes – said his political resolution is "to not make a resolution until 2025"...
With a busy year ahead, many parliamentarians understandably wish to prioritise their own health and wellbeing so that they can be fighting fit.
Sarah Owen, Labour MP for Luton North told PoliticsHome her resolution was to "get off Twitter entirely".
"It’s a bin fire of madness and divisiveness now," she said.
In November, she resigned from her role in Labour’s shadow cabinet after voting in favour of a ceasefire in Gaza, and has previously spoken about the level of hate she receives on social media, particularly as the first MP of south-east Asian descent.
Physical fitness is also a priority for many. MPs Ben Everitt and Christian Wakeford may not share a party anymore, after Wakeford defected from the Tories to Labour in 2022, but they still share a propensity for getting injured.
Everitt, who is the Conservative MP for Milton Keynes North said his resolution was to “avoid any more sports injuries until the election".
"My team made me say this..." he added.
Wakeford said that with a general election on the horizon and still recovering from a previous injury, his goal was to "get fit".
While they sit on opposite frontbenches, Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry and Chairman of the Conservative Party Richard Holden both have resolutions to avoid the harms of smoking.
“I'm still on my resolution from 2021: don't start smoking again," Thornberry said.
"I think I'll stick with that. If it ain't broke, why fix it?”
Holden said he needed to "stop smoking, or at least try to".
However, Clive Lewis, Labour MP for Norwich South, said his resolution was to "unfriend anyone who shares their diet or exercise regimen for 2024". It looks like Lewis might struggle for friends in Westminster this year.
2024 will undoubtedly be a huge year in politics, but some politicians told PoliticsHome they hope it will also be a huge year to tick off some personal resolutions.
Conservative MP for Rutland and Melton and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee Alicia Kearns said it would be important for "everyone in politics" to spend as much time as they can with their families: "Especially while our children are young."
"I also want to read more books next year, both fiction to give my brain a break, and educational!" she continued.
Dan Jarvis, Labour MP for Barnsley Central and Shadow Minister for Security said that while he "obviously" wanted to be a part of a Labour government, there are a few other tasks on his to-do list.
"My resolution is to be the first MP home in the London marathon and for Barnsley FC to be promoted to the Championship," he said.
Tory MP and Minister for Northern Ireland Steve Baker is setting his New Year ambitions sky-high: "To make time to skydive."
Additional reporting by Adam Payne, Nadine Batchelor-Hunt, Tom Scotson and Caitlin Doherty.
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