Introducing… Anna Firth MP
Newly-elected Conservative MP Anna Firth knows she has “huge boots to fill” following her by-election victory in Southend West. Paying tribute to her predecessor Sir David Amess, who died while holding a constituency surgery in October, Firth said it was “the most incredible honour to follow such an inspiring constituency MP”.
Firth added that her principal task was to build on his legacy: “Sir David’s greatest aim was to secure city status for Southend, which he has done. And my aim is for us to make the most of city status, that he worked so hard to secure, and make Southend City the best seaside city in the country.”
As well as putting in a renewed bid for Southend to become a UK City of Culture, Firth wants to secure more resources to fund extra police officers and improvements in health care.
Addressing educational opportunities is also a priority. Horrified by the widening of inequality in education as a result of home schooling during the pandemic, Firth founded Britain’s first free online school, the Invicta National Academy, in July 2020.
National director of the Conservative Policy Forum, and a former Sevenoaks councillor, Firth ran to become an MP twice before, including in Canterbury in 2019. A barrister for more than 10 years until she took a career break to raise her three children, Firth says her decade’s experience “fighting to make a difference to real people” was excellent training for her new job.
The first locally-born MP to represent Southend West, she credits her schoolteacher mother, who raised Firth and her brother on her own, for instilling in her the values of a good education, working hard, aiming high and giving back. “And I believe that those are core Conservative values. I also happen to believe that they’re the values upon which Mrs Thatcher made us a force in the world again. And I’d even go as far as to say those are Southend values.”