This year we are marking the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, which was the first major military campaign fought entirely by air forces.
The Spitfire played a crucial role in defending Britain and will always have a special place in our history. As every year passes, it is vital that we preserve and remember the role the Spitfire played and the sacrifices of so many are not forgotten.
This is why I believe that now is the most pertinent time to build a monument dedicated to the indelible mark this magnificent aircraft left on the course of British history.
For many years I have supported and called for a national memorial to be built in Southampton.