HARLOW'S outgoing MP has thanked the town's "wonderful residents" as he made his final speech in the House of Commons. 

Robert Halfon, who has served as an MP for Harlow since 2010, handed in his resignation back in March this year.

The apprenticeships and skills minister's final speech begans with an expression of his gratitude for the people of Harlow. 

Robert said: "I must also thank the wonderful residents of Harlow. They are tough. They want their Member of Parliament to work hard to champion and fight for Harlow, and they expect the best from their MP.

"I have worked hard to help regenerate our town, and some wonderful things have been happening."

Mr Halfon paid tribute to the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, doorkeepers and staff in the tea room. 

The MP, who was born with mild cerebral palsy, spoke about his thankfulness for his Segway which was used around the House of Commons, but criticised the building for its lack of accessibility. 

He said: "As I have said, I never talk much about my legs, but I am going now, and I am very lucky to have benefited from, for instance, the kindest officers and Doorkeepers in the world—as well as the Segway.

"I have run over a few Members’ toes with it, from those of my hon. Friend the Member for Lichfield (Michael Fabricant) to those of a former MP for Milton Keynes and a few others in between.

"Everyone has been very kind. It will not be the same not to be scooting through here and asking everyone to put their legs up, especially the ladies.

"However, this is a terrible place for people who have difficulties. The lavatories are never working, the lifts are never working, and the doors are always shut.

"There is just not enough understanding. It is not about producing a press release saying, 'We’re an inclusive and diverse employer' That means nothing.

"I have had great chats in the last few days with brilliant House of Commons staff—as I have said, every single member of staff is brilliant—but there has to be change.

"Everybody should be able to access this place easily and comfortably, whatever their background, so I urge the new Parliament, you, Mr Deputy Speaker, Mr Speaker and the other Deputy Speakers to make that happen once and for all."

The MP ended his speech with a reference to Lord of the Rings. 

He said: "I have come to my last words. When I resigned, I quoted J. R. R. Tolkien, whom I love. I am looking forward to the Tolkien Society’s annual Oxonmoot later this year.

"Those who know “Lord of the Rings” will know that when Gandalf takes the hobbits back to the Shire after they have all conquered the ring, he says that he is not going with them:

“I am with you at present…but soon I shall not be. I am not coming to the Shire…My time is over: it is no longer my task to set things to rights, nor to help folk to do so.

"And as for you, my dear friends, you will need no help…among the great you are, and I have no longer any fear at all for any of you.”

"I am more Bilbo than Gandalf, because I am small, I have fat feet, I do like a smoke and I love the countryside. For me, although I will not be in Parliament, as Bilbo said: 'The Road goes ever on'."