In these turbulent political times, people often ask if I enjoy being an MP. With all the pressures and the noise, I can see why. But the truth is, that democracies are noisy, and people make their cases with passion, especially when the issues are so big. I absolutely love being your MP. I have been so lucky to have represented West Suffolk for the past eight years. I never forget that it is a huge privilege to do so. And although the House of Commons can seem like a very long way away from rural Suffolk, it is even more important that the views of people locally are heard there. That is first and foremost what I’m there to do, and I’m grateful for the huge amount of correspondence I get and feedback I get face to face when I’m out and about locally.
I was recently at a primary school in the constituency and it was there that we celebrated Parliament Week with the pupils there from many of the different year groups. Parliament Week takes place every year in November and this year alone there were over 8000 events across the country. For the primary school children I met, we were able to talk about why I decided to become an MP, what an MP does every day and how democracy works. These are big concepts for small children, but they are incredibly important ones. The idea that we can shape our future via our elected leaders means that everyone has an equal say via their vote in how our country is run, both on a local level and on a national one. And in the hundredth year since women were given the right to vote, this is especially poignant. We have come such a long way, and it seemed unbelievable to the boys and girls at the school that at one time women did not have the same rights as men.
One of the ideas that I tried to impress upon the children was that as their MP, I work for all my constituents. I am here to represent them in Parliament and I am also able to help with problems that they may have. I regularly hold surgeries in West Suffolk where they can come and have a chat in person. If there is something that I can be of help with, please do let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am already looking forward to next year’s Parliament Week and the chance to engage with young people and to show them the power that they have through democracy.