David Davis - On Liberty
"First, may I thank the returning officer, his officials and the police. I would also like to take the opportunity to commend the other parties that contested this election. One of the freedoms I defend is the right of anybody to stand in a democratic election. By and large this has been a courteous and entertaining campaign. I thank everyone for taking part. Four weeks ago, I resigned my position as Shadow Home Secretary, and Member of Parliament. Not for personal gain. Not for political advantage. But to defend a principle. The doubters said it couldn’t be done.
"You can’t win a by-election campaigning for freedom. You can’t shift public support for 42 days.
"You can’t spark a national debate, they said… people just don’t care about British liberty. And yet, 3 weeks on, we’ve sent a shot across the bows of Gordon Brown’s arrogant, arbitrary and authoritarian government. We’ve galvanised a new consensus … across the political spectrum … beyond the world of politics. A new resolve. A new spirit of freedom. A fresh sense of purpose.
"Today, the people of Haltemprice and Howden have delivered a stunning message to the government…as our campaign has reverberated across the country. Four weeks ago as Gordon Brown stooped into the gutter to rig the vote on 42 days, Ministers crowed that 69% of people supported 42 days. Today just 36% support it. Four weeks ago, the government touted public support for a range of other draconian measures. Today, 71% support my stand against the attacks on British liberty. And in the House of Lords, the last Head of MI5 savaged the government’s 42 day proposal. It now lies in tatters, robbed of any remaining credibility. Along with this government. And that’s after just 3 weeks.
"But today is not the end of this campaign. It’s the beginning. On Monday I return to the House of Commons, to take up my seat in those hallowed chambers. I do so with a clear mandate to fight Gordon Brown’s vision of ‘Big Brother Britain’ tooth and nail. To stop 42 days dead in its tracks.
"To prevent the disaster of ID cards before it happens. To protect our personal privacy from being ransacked by the ever-intrusive state. But most of all for the thousands upon thousands who have written to me… Supported me…and voted for me….
"I return to fight for those fundamental freedoms that define our way of life. The freedoms that millions died defending. The freedoms that make Britain Great."