Delayed from our work on Parliament Week, Year 5 finally got a face to face meeting with their local MP, Ian Levy - and certainly gave him a good grilling! Their questioning was diverse and eclectic but he cheerfully answered everything - even offering to join us on a local litter pick if Sasha gets it organised. It provided the children with valuable insight into the role of an MP, as well as putting a face to a name. They now know who to call if they need anything changing in Seaton Valley! Plus we have a few budding candidates now. Watch this space!
Why can you buy cigarettes if they can kill you?
Because I believe in giving people the freedom to make their own decisions. We provide as much information as we can and then you can choose what to do. My advice though? Don't smoke!
Why did you decide to become an MP?
I spent 30 years working for the NHS and realised there was a lot of change that could be made in the local community. I decided I could be the one to make the change!
Are you in favour of renewable energy and greener fuels?
Could we improve lighting in the local park?
I am not familiar with your local park so send me an email with the details of the issue and how it can be addressed and I will see what I can do.
Why can’t children have a vote?
It was decided that people are in a much better position to make a reasoned decision once they have been through school and have a little life experience.
How can you become an MP?
You say that you would like to represent your area and then you need to have an interview. Mine lasted around 5 hours! Also, you need people to vote for you.
Why aren’t there more hospitals in the area around Northumberland?
There are hospitals all over the county: Ashington; Blyth; Berwick; Hexham. They serve different purposes. The one you are thinking of is the purpose built hospital in Cramlington with state of the art facilities. We can be really proud of having a brand new hospital in our county.
What was the most difficult bill you have had to vote on?
Probably the one about providing free school meals during lockdown and in the holidays. I voted against that and was made to look like a terrible person. However, I thought that the Bill would discriminate against people and that it wasn’t a dignified way of offering support to families in need. Unfortunately, my reasons for the way I voted got lost along the way.
Why are we building so many houses on green spaces?
In fact I would encourage building only on brown spaces; land that has already been used for buildings in the past.
How long have you been an MP for? Do you enjoy it?
For 30 years. It is the best job in the world.
How busy does Parliament get? How many people are there at once?
It can get very busy, depending on what is going on at the time. As you can imagine, it has been really busy lately!
What do you do outside of your job? Your hobbies?
I have never learned to swim! That is going to be my New Year’s Resolution - so ask me again in 2022!
How hard is it to commute to London?
It’s not hard as such but it makes my day very long. I get up at 4:30, put my sandwiches up, drive to Morpeth to catch the train and head to work. I don’t get home until around 11 at night!
If the opportunity to be Prime Minister ever came up, would you take it?
I have the utmost respect for the PM. It takes an awful lot of time and commitment to run the country. I want to balance my job as MP with family time. Besides, I don’t think my wife would let me!