MARCO Longhi MP vowed to "turn words into action and deliver for Dudley" as he made his maiden speech in the House of Commons.

The new MP for Dudley North said he spoke with "pride and humility" to be addressing the House as the first ever Conservative representative for the constituency while commanding the largest majority the seat has seen.

He set out his priorities for the constituency in the Commons, vowing to create new skills and jobs; boost footfall to the high street and improve the mental health of Dudley North residents.

He told the House: "Like many high streets around the country, Dudley’s has suffered much. Nobody has a silver bullet to fix that, but increasing footfall by attracting more people feels like part of the solution. If attracting more people into the town centre is part of the solution, and if the focus on skills for future jobs is key, I would like to see our plans for a university campus on the edge of Dudley town centre finally being delivered."

Plans for a university in the town have been in the pipeline for some time, but the MP has thrown his support to the scheme and called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to back the project during Prime Ministers Questions.

Signally his aim to improve mental health services in Dudley, Mr Longhi added: "Improving health and wellbeing and seeking to tackle mental ill health are some of the areas on which I wish to focus during my time in this House, for the benefit of everyone at home and in their workplaces. If we tackle the issue of poor mental health at its core and in its infancy, we can prevent crisis moments and the devastating consequences that they can have."

Mr Longhi also used his speech to pay tribute to his predecessor, former Labour turned independent MP Ian Austin, for his stance on tackling anti-Semitism.

He said: "I am certain than many in this place will want to recognise Ian Austin for his integrity, and for the brave way in which he decided to stand up against antisemitism. There is not a person in my constituency to whom I have spoken who does not speak well of Ian, even when they disagreed with his politics. So I want to thank him for his efforts as a local MP, and for the example that he has set for many of us, on both sides of the House, in standing up to prejudice and hatred."

Mr Longhi, who won Dudley North with a majority of more than 11,000 votes, ended his speech promising to deliver for his constituents, adding: "Now is the time to turn words into action and to deliver for Dudley. My pledge to all Dudley people is that I will fight every step of the way to make things happen and bring about the change that they want. It is Dudley’s turn now."