Express & Star comment: New Year brings new challenges
Our MPs are due to return to Westminster this week – and some will be looking forward to it far more than others.
Those of a Conservative persuasion will naturally be cock-a-hoop after their party's decisive victory in the general election.
Armed with a majority of 80, Boris Johnson now has a mandate to push through his plans for the country, starting of course with our long delayed departure from the EU.
For some of the other parties in Westminster however, the new year signals a time for major change.
In the case of the Labour Party, that means drawing a line under the worst election performance in decades and attempting to elect a leader that can take the party forward after a period of regression.
The starting point is to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn.
For many Labour MPs, his return to the backbenches cannot come soon enough.
His failure of leadership during the campaign was bad enough, but Mr Corbyn's irrational ramblings since the disastrous result have shone a light on just how detached from reality he has become.
By claiming to have "won the argument" in the election, and describing the last 12 months as "quite the year" for Labour, Mr Corbyn leaves a party that is fragmented and directionless.
This country needs an effective opposition, and the candidate who is eventually chosen by Labour members must be capable of leading by example.
The years since the EU referendum have been largely dark ones as far as our democracy is concerned.
The public has become accustomed to seeing MPs indulging in petty squabbles, and for too long there has been a collective failure to address the needs of the country.
Many people were understandably appalled at the apparent desire among politicians to ignore the result of the EU referendum, but the lack of progress in other key policy areas has also been a source of frustration.
Mr Johnson has pledged to address these issues as he implements his version of "one nation" Conservatism.
With the numbers in Parliament very much in his favour, he now has the opportunity to spearhead a brave new dawn for this great country.