I wasn't the happiest chappie when I struggled out of bed at 5.30am to arrive at Tom Tugendhat's first Business Breakfast in Hadlow at 7am. But it was very worthwhile.
Over 40 local business leaders, some from quite major PLCs, others SMEs and quite a few sole traders, made the effort to attend. Tom greeted each one and served them coffee. If he doesn't enjoy being an MP he'd make a great butler in Downton Abbey (no doubt he would say his agent would make a great Dowager Lady Grantham).
For me, the most interesting aspect were the questions; European and UK regulation, unfair competition from the local councils running commercial companies, a Secretary of State for Business who did not appear to support business, the cost of seed capital, unhelpful banks and hidden costs of employment.
This was a non-political event; an opportunity for Tom to meet local business people and for them to meet him and raise their concerns. We will certainly do it again - and hopefully make it a regular event before before (and hopefully after) the election.