The nature of print deadlines means that I sit down to write this column the morning after the great political earthquake of the Mid Bedfordshire and Tamworth by-elections.

Over the past few months, I have spent a lot of time in Mid Bedfordshire, supporting our great candidate Festus and meeting lots and lots of voters – some of whom will be joining us in the new Hitchin constituency. The message has been clear: they are tired.

They are tired of the same old broken political system, where nothing changes. They are tired of having a Member of Parliament who wasn’t local and didn’t understand their issues. And yes, they are tired of my Party and the state of the country.

When political commentators talk about Mid Bedfordshire, they will talk about it as a shock, seismic win for Labour – evidence that they are on course for an enormous majority. And that might well be true.

But Labour’s seismic win saw them get fewer votes than they achieved in Mid Bedfordshire in 2019. The real story of the by-election was that more than 20,000 voters – largely Conservative – were so tired of politics that they stayed at home and did not vote.

My message to those voters – and to people in Hitchin who feel that same tiredness is simple: I am tired too.

Our politics has become toxic – full of mistruths about sewage in rivers and reality TV-style personality psychodramas in Westminster.

When what it should be about is you. Your priorities. Our communities. The services we rely on. The green spaces we love. The houses our families will grow up and grow old in.

This community is my home. I live in a local village with my family. I shop on Hitchin High Street. I eat in local restaurants. I drink in local pubs. I use the same services you use. Cherish the green spaces you cherish.

I know that you are tired of politics right now. So let’s focus on what matters.

As your Member of Parliament, I will fight every day that you let me to make our communities better.

To make them safer. To make them easier to get around and better connected. To protect our green spaces. To improve access to health care. To deliver more jobs so that you and your families can have the security of good, local work.

I know that you’re tired. I understand. But you have my word that I will never get tired of fighting for this great community I love.