A WEEK is a long time in  politics so the saying goes. So what does that make a seven-year long stint as the town’s MP?

For David Mowat, June 8 marked the end of his tenure as Warrington South MP – one of the many Tory casualties of a shock Labour surge in the north west.

His almost 3,000-vote majority became a 2,549-vote defeat as former mayor Faisal Rashid won.

A week earlier, the thought of a Labour win in Warrington South would have been at best a long shot. At the start of the snap General Election campaign less than two months prior, it was unheard of with the Tories 20 points clear in the opinion polls.

And Mr Mowat says after the shock defeat now is the time to move onto the next chapter in his life.

“There is no plan to get back into politics as an MP, although I will help the office locally,” he added. “And hopefully when the times comes they can win the seat back again.

“I have been here for 10 years, three years as a candidate and then seven as the MP.

“I regard myself as being very privileged to have that chance first as an MP and then as a minister.

“One of the things you have to do in life is be clear about the time to move on.”

So what do you miss after seven years in Parliament, the last year of which has been spent as a junior health minister?

“I really enjoyed being on the public accounts committee. I enjoyed my time making speeches as a backbencher and recently as a minister. I was getting better at it.

“I enjoyed all aspects of being in the chamber. I will miss that, although seven years is a long time.

“One of the real challenges would be ‘urgent questions’.

“So Labour could table an ‘urgent question’ in the morning and by lunchtime, you have got to do a PMQ-style debate on that subject for an hour. I had them on pharmacy and social care in my time as a junior minister.”

One thing he won’t miss however is the process of Parliament with long hours and days and a routine very different from his previous life in business.

He added: “One thing I will not miss is that politics is quite hierarchical in a way that business is not.

“Staying up until 2am or 3am for a vote in case you got ambushed struck me as a tedious way to run things.

“I also won’t miss being away from home three or four nights a week. That could be tough.

“And there is an element in which most MPs are not lacking in self-doubt shall we say.

“So I won’t miss the constant tendency of people to brag about themselves given half the chance.”

Speaking to Mr Mowat though, who turned 60 earlier this year, it is clear this is a man who enjoyed many of the other parts of being an MP.

He added: “I would say my surgeries had a huge impact on me and I benefited from them greatly.

“I met people from all aspects of society and with all aspects of problems which my previous life (working in business) did not bring me into contact with.

“And that was very beneficial.”

That previous life was as a chartered accountant – most recently with Accenture in Manchester.

And his business life would play a big role in what he believes is one of the biggest legacies from his stint as the town’s MP, and as Conservative candidate for three years before he was first elected in 2010.

He added: “One thing I am very proud of was the jobs club.

“It started life when I was a candidate and would involve around 20 people at a time on a course of between 10 to 12 weeks. And the majority got jobs or went back to education as a result of it.

“It really reinforced the belief that most people want to work and get a job. We just helped to give them some confidence.

“A particular memory was of someone who had been unemployed for six months. I spoke to someone at my previous work and she got a job there and is now thriving.

“I am pretty sure she voted for me two years ago but not sure if she did this time.

“A lot of MPs run jobs fairs but the jobs club was more unusual and took a lot more effort.”

His legacy in Warrington took a big hit earlier this year when the Government ditched plans announced before the 2015 General Election to give Warrington drivers free crossings over the new Mersey Gateway bridge between Widnes and Runcorn.

It led to Labour accusations that Mr Mowat had performed a U-turn, although both Labour and Conservative campaigners say it was not a big issue on the doorstep during the election campaign.

But his role in two other bridges – the crossing between Slutchers Lane and Chester Road which is currently under way and the proposed second high level crossing over the Manchester Ship Canal – are also among his highlights.

The money was confirmed when he was working for Greg Clark – the minister responsible for such projects.

“Had I not been the MP, the money for the two new bridges would not have been allocated,” he said.

“That would not have happened had Greg Clark not decided to help me.”

And one topic he has been especially keen on discussing in Parliament is nuclear power. He spoke about it regularly in the chamber and was a champion for the industry – especially related to its crucial role in thousands of jobs in Warrington – largely in Birchwood.

He added: “In a wider sense, one area where I have changed the climate in parliamentary debates has been around nuclear.

“I spent a lot of time talking around why it is the primary green, low carbon power source and why it is vital and one of the main weapons in the fight against climate change.

“Nuclear also plays a major role in Warrington’s economy. Hinckley Point brings a huge number of jobs to Warrington as hopefully will Moorside in Cumbria.

“I probably asked more questions and spent more times on debates in Parliament on this issue than anything else.

“And it did change attitudes in Parliament on this issue.”

So now he looks towards retirement, will he be watching Prime Minister’s Questions every Wednesday lunchtime along with the rest of us?

“I did not actually like Prime Minister’s Questions and it is about three years since I have been unless I have been asking   questions because I did not think it was a very useful way of spending my time,” he said.

“I believe Parliament is about better things than that.

“From the time I was a minister I did not watch it and I won’t be watching it in future.

“But since the election I have switched on the Parliament Channel a couple of times and watched my friends and colleagues and thought ‘that was good or that was not’.”

Mr Mowat remains on the board of the new MCAT academy trust which has taken over Priestley College and a number of the town’s secondary schools. But he has no plans for life beyond a new addition to the family.

He added: “Over the summer I plan on having a holiday and I am going to become a grandfather for the first time which is a big event.

“As winter comes I will think about what I should be doing. But I don’t feel an urgent need to find something.

“I wish Faisal all the best, which I said on election night. It is a big privilege.

“I hope he gets as much out of it as I did.”