CRADLEY'S new MP Suzanne Webb paid tribute to her predecessor Margot James in her maiden speech in Parliament.

Ms Webb, who won the Stourbridge seat in the December snap election, made her debut speech in the chamber of the House of Commons yesterday (Tuesday February 25) and as well as highlighting the area's history and local gems - she used her first words to heap praise on Ms James who stood down after nine years as the constituency's MP over disagreements over Brexit.

She said although Ms James understood that people in the constituency are "hard-working and talented individuals who recognise the importance of responsibility and have pride in their own ability to make something of themselves" and that although Ms James disagreed with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Britain’s role in the EU that should not detract from "her overarching sense of responsibility".

She added: “The people of the Black Country and Stourbridge hold on to certain basic truths that are not just old-fashioned notions that can simply be cast aside…that one should never borrow what one cannot pay back, that we should not foster a culture in which people are led to expect something for nothing”. Those are principles that I share with Margot."

She went on to say how late former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had shaped her political thinking and how her grandparents, lifelong Labour voters, had been moved to switch their allegiances and vote for the Conservatives, led by the Iron Lady, in the 1979.

Ms Webb said her Nan "related to Mrs Thatcher’s simple message that espoused the individual values of ownership, having a society of savers, and the responsibility and accountability of Government to respect and reward this" and those values were passed down to her parents and subsequently to herself and her two brothers.

She said: "My mum was a teacher and my dad was a white-collar worker. Both were hard-working, resilient and committed to ensuring that their kids had a good education. They created the conditions whereby a comprehensive girl could go to university, own her own home, have a career working across global markets for more than 29 years, and, of course, stand here before the House as the MP for Stourbridge."

She went on to say she is backing West Midlands Mayor Andy Street's bid to bring a gigabyte factory - which would produce batteries to power the next generation of electric cars - to the West Midlands.

The Conservative MP also called for a bold approach to climate change and referenced the green belt being "under much pressure in my constituency".

She also highlighted the "need to tackle knife crime" and spoke of the tragic death of Ryan Passey - adding: "My thoughts are always with the Passey family, and I will continue to support the Justice for Ryan campaign until justice is indeed done."