Cambridgeshire MP offers insight into Parliament for Perse pupils

PUBLISHED: 19:00 01 December 2017

Heidi Allen (centre) with, from left to right, Perse students Jack Alphey, Ekaterina Rahr-Bohr, Thomas Moir, Archie Bowman, Alexander Cumming and Ben Cope. Photograph: Alan Davidson

Heidi Allen (centre) with, from left to right, Perse students Jack Alphey, Ekaterina Rahr-Bohr, Thomas Moir, Archie Bowman, Alexander Cumming and Ben Cope. Photograph: Alan Davidson

ILIFFE

Heidi Allen tells students all about the joys of being a parliamentary member

South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen provided students with an insight into life in Parliament when she made a visit to The Perse.

The Conservative MP told the audience at the Cambridge school she had only become politically motivated following the riots that began in Tottenham and spread to other parts of the UK in 2011, feeling she wanted to make a difference.

Taking on board her husband’s suggestion of trying to become an MP, she explained that she got in touch with her then local MP in St Albans, Anne Main, and found out how to get into politics.

With a background in astrophysics she decided to stand for the party in South Cambs, with the Cambridge area being a centre for hi-tech industry.

After being elected in 2014, she related that going into Parliament was “a bit of a shock” and admitted having doubts whether she had done the right thing in her first few months as an MP.

Mrs Allen explained how she had made a mark with her maiden speech before the House of Commons in October 2015, when she criticised then Chancellor George Osborne’s proposed cuts to tax credits.

Mrs Allen added that the ‘privileges’ of being an MP included learning new things, helping constituents and backing campaigns that make a difference to people, concluding that “it’s the best job in the world”.

She rounded off her visit by being grilled by students for her thoughts on a range of issues including the possibility of Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister, whether the Conservatives were doing enough to engage with young voters, and whether Cabinet posts should be given to politicians with professional backgrounds in those areas.

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