Spending the day with MP Fleur Anderson, and her team, was an eye-opening experience to the true inner working of life as an active MP.
We were first given a tour of parliament that was supplemented with Ms Anderson’s personal anecdotes and experience of how working as an MP works, rather than the typical ideal scenarios we are taught in school or assume as outsiders.
We luckily managed to catch a debate in the House of Commons of a ministerial statement of criminal justice response to rape and sexual violence. One thing that particularly stood out to me was how all the MPs present seemed so relaxed compared to the typical yelling we see from Prime Ministers’ questions on the news. We then had an opportunity to speak to Ms Anderson’s personal team who are with her throughout the whole day. It was interesting to learn how many different responsibilities the team takes on rather than the MPs themselves. For example, one responsibility that Ms Anderson’s team took on was constantly reading up on any recent political news not just in the UK but also internationally, and relaying relevant information to Ms Anderson.
However, the most important part of the day was at the very end when we were able to give a minute speech to Ms Anderson about either local or national issues that concerned us as the younger generation. I personally chose to speak on how upsetting it is for young women in this society when we are not being heard and given the same opportunities as men. Other students there spoke on varying broad topics such as the oppression of minorities in a city, which claims to celebrate their diversity, and more local issues such as the insufficient public transport system, and the extreme amounts of potholes in our constituency. Overall, it was an amazing experience, and it was especially nice to be able to directly communicate with my MP about our personal concerns and see her actively listening.
I encourage everyone to lobby their own MP as it is their job to listen.
6.2 Politics Student