On Friday 13th July, our local MP Andrea Leadsom visited Southfield Primary Academy. Mrs Leadsom met with some of our School Councillors before hosting a Q&A with Key Stage 2. We discussed her role as an MP as well as discussing the rights of women to vote, as this year is 100 years since women got the vote. Mrs Leadsom said, “I am incredibly impressed with your knowledge of what an MP is and the quality of your questions.” Mrs Leadsom was joined by Emily Hall, who is on a years apprenticeship with her. Following discussion with Emily, some of our School Councillors were very keen to do this role when they leave school!
We learnt that Mrs Leadsom has been an MP since 2010, she has been elected three times. She wanted to become an MP so that she could make a difference. When she was only 13 years old, she was worried that there would be a nuclear war and wanted to stop it, this is where her initial thoughts of becoming an MP came from. We heard how it can sometimes be hard being an MP because it is very busy, people can be critical of you and you can feel lonely. Mrs Leadsom told us that sometimes you have to work and cannot be there for you family. Recently, she has had to get special permission to attend her son’s graduation as it is on a day when she should be in parliament. Mrs Leadsom said, “I am very proud to be an MP, there are moments every day when I wonder why I am doing it but I am very proud and have personal satisfaction.”
A typical week goes like this:
Monday – Parliament until 10pm
Tuesday & Wednesday – Parliament until 7pm
Thursday- Parliament until 5pm
Friday- A day working in South Northants.
Saturday- Attending events such as fetes in South Northants.
Sunday – Family day.
Before becoming an MP, Mrs Leadsom worked in finance for 25 years, working in a bank. She also volunteered for a charity which supported families when they have a new baby.
The most interesting Bill Mrs Leadsom has been part of is the EU withdrawal. She said, “This Bill is a huge changing point for the UK so must be done right.” She also told us that, “It has the record for being the Bill to have the most parliamentary time, being discussed for 37 days, 290 hours and with 1480 amendments.”
Talking about equal rights for women, Mrs Leadsom shared that she would have been a peaceful suffragist rather than a suffragette. She shared that she thought it was WW1 that won the votes for women as women had to take on roles normally carried out by men. She said that there have been many changes in recent times with the number of women in Parliament. When she first joined the Houses of Parliament 60/300 Conservative MPs and 75/260 Labour MPs were women, today it is a ratio of 2: 1 (men:women). Mrs Leadsom pointed out that lots of key roles are currently held by women e.g. Theresa May the Prime Minister.