Lindsay Hoyle has been the Labour MP for Chorley since 1997 and was was elected as Chairman of Ways and Means and Deputy Speaker of The House of Commons in 2010. I was delighted that Mr Hoyle was able to answer some questions for me as he is someone that I enjoy watching in The House of Commons on TV.
- How important is it that young people take an interest in politics?
“Politics is important to everyone but whether or not they believe that is a different matter! When I go into high schools and colleges, I am always impressed with the political awareness and maturity of young people in my constituency. Yet there are some young people, just like some adults, that feel politics and politicians are distant and of little relevance to their lives.
The reality is that politics is very relevant to every aspect of our lives and that includes younger people, from tuition fees to taxation, education policies and Europe, politics is massively important.
I really enjoy meeting young people, students to discuss these issues and try and crystallise the role and relevance of politics. Politicians and young people need to talk to each other much more!”
- What do you enjoy most about being deputy speaker?
“Being Deputy Speaker, Chairman of Ways and Means is a fantastic privilege; none more so than on Budget Day when the Commons chamber is electric!
There are many things that I enjoy immensely about my role; I have met President Obama, Jimmy Carter, Aung San Suu Kyi amongst many other inspirational world leaders.
But I think the thing I enjoy the most is the ability and authority to allow backbench Members of Parliament to challenge and scrutinise the Executive and the Opposition front bench. That’s what Parliament should be about!”
- Why should young people support The Labour Party?
“Of course, as a Labour Party MP I’d encourage young people to join us in the Labour Party, but I think it’s more important that young people simply engage with all of the different parties and decide which party most effectively represents them, and if they feel strongly then though should join up.
Aside from supporting parties, the real message is simply to go out and vote; that’s the important thing. Voting does make a difference, as we’ve seen in Scotland – the SNP mobilised a swath of new young political activists and have changed the political backdrop of Scotland and Westminster!”
- What has been your proudest achievement in your time in politics?
“On May 7th I was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for my home town of Chorley, this is the fifth General Election I’ve fought and won; the people of Chorley remain my number one priority.
Chorley matters to me because it is my home town; the hospital is where I was born, the schools are where my friends and families send their children. I am one of the very few Members that represent their home town; I first joined Chorley Council in the 1980s and so I think my election in 1997 is probably my proudest moment in politics.”
- Do you have any funny stories from your time in politics?
“I have many memorable moments from my time in politics; but one of the earliest was in 1997, shortly after the election. New Labour Members, including myself, were invited to an ‘Emily’s List’ Parliamentary reception, to which I eagerly attended.
I soon noticed that I was the only man in the room; only afterwards did the penny drop, that Emily’s List supports female MPs in politics. I had been inadvertently invited due to my name! As Johnny Cash sings, ‘Life ain’t easy for a boy named Sue! [or was it Lindsay?]’.”