Three years ago, while I was in Solihull Town Centre, somebody came up to me and told me what was happening in Meriden. I immediately drove up here, and I saw what was happening and I saw the dismay on people’s faces.
I didn’t know any of you at that point, but I could see the hurt on your faces. I felt that hurt as well.
And in those three years, I’ve got to know many of you very well and I’m proud to list you among my friends. We have, through adversity, come through this and I pay tribute to you.
There were difficult times. There were times where it looked like everything was going wrong, as if those that usurp the law were going to win through. But we kept our steely determination, well it was you that did!
You came to Strasbourg and you put in a petition. You made that determination that you were never going to give up. You may be Middle England geographically, but you show what Middle England can do. When ordinary people stand up for their rights, they can succeed.
My gratitude to David and Dougie who have done an amazing job in these three years. But most of all, my gratitude to all of you. You are absolutely fantastic. Thank you very much.