Interview with Edward Timpson (Conservative Minister of State for Children and Families)

I have had the great opportunity to be able to interview a member of the current government, Mr Edward Timpson. After the General Election in May, Mr Timpson was appointed as the Minister of State for Children and Families. I was intrigued to hear what Mr Timpson wanted to achieve in this role, and also how the current Conservative government will be tackling the issue of poverty over the next five years.

  • How important is it that young people take an interest in politics?

“It is hugely important that young people take an interest in politics as otherwise it leads to an unhealthy disconnection between decision-makers (i.e. politicians) and the impact that these decisions have on young people themselves. Taking an interest in politics not only improves your understanding of the world around you, but it also means that policy-makers have to sit up and take notice of your views.”

  • Why did you decide to join the Conservative Party?

“It is because their ideas chimed most with the values that I believe in and want to promote: tolerance, respect, a sense of social justice, and aspiration for all.”

  • What would you say to young people who have not yet decided which party to support?

“For young people who have not decided which party to support, I would say to them that it doesn’t matter. I would, however, strongly recommend that they find out as much about each party as they can and get a feel for the one that most accords with their views and values. That’s what I did!”

  • What do you aim to achieve in your role as Minister of State for Children and Families?

“As Minister of State for Children and Families, I want to ensure that the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children get the highest possible quality of support to enable them to be the best they can. This has been my aim since becoming a Minister, and I am very proud of what we have achieved so far.”

  • How do the Conservative Government intend to tackle the issue of poverty over the next five years?

“First, we need to understand what the real causes of poverty are and relentlessly address them. Second, we need to find employment for those who can and want to work, while making sure that work always pays better than not working. Third, we want to make certain that every child can go to a great school, as a good education is the surest way to make certain that a child in poverty does not grow up and become an adult in poverty.”

Edward Timpson

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Interview with John Redwood (Conservative MP for Workingham)

I always like to receive suggestions on who I should interview, and one of them was the Conservative MP, John Redwood. Mr Redwood has been the MP of Workingham since 1987. He has also been the Secretary of State for Wales under John Major’s government between 1993 and 1995. I was also intrigued to hear from Mr Redwood what the current Conservative government have to offer young people.

  • How important is it that young people take an interest in politics?

“For a democracy to work well people need to take an interest in the debates and decisions that affect our society and participate as they see fit. We live in a free country so no-one has to be interested in politics and no-one is made to vote, but it works better if most people are engaged and involving themselves to some extent. People under 18 who do not currently have the vote can nonetheless follow the national conversation and join in the discussions if they wish, as opportunity presents.”

  • What can the government offer young people in the next five years?

“The main things the government offers young people are a good education and decent prospects of a job after school, College or university. The present government aims to improve poor performing state schools. The Coalition government presided over a large expansion in the number of jobs on offer, which has continued in the first weeks of the current Conservative government.”

  • What are you most proud of in your time in politics?

“Helping to stop the UK taking military action in Syria.”

John Redwood

Interview with Boris Johnson (The Mayor of London)

I am excited to publish my interview with possibly the most famous politician I have interviewed so far, Boris Johnson. Boris Johnson has been the Mayor of London since 2008 and in May he was elected as the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

  • What has been your highlight of being Mayor so far?

“It has been an enormous privilege to serve as Mayor of London since 2008 – highlights include cutting council tax; revolutionising our creaking transport infrastructure; making our streets and homes safer; and working with business to create over 100,000 apprenticeships for young people. And of course delivering a truly great legacy after the success of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

  • Why did you decide to stand for MP and do you think you can juggle the two jobs efficiently?

“As well as representing my constituency as MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, I can assure you that I plan to continue working to make London the greatest city on earth right through my Mayoralty, which ends in May 2016. We have a massive programme of work in train – from putting in new bridges and tunnels across the Thames, creating more pocket parks, spreading the London Living Wage and regenerating yet more of London. I will be putting every ounce of effort into this programme until 4 May 2016. It is enormous but it is all doable.”

  • Are you flattered to have had a puppet of you on the TV show ‘Newzoids’?

“I am very flattered that there is a puppet of me on the TV show Newzoids.”

  • Any hairstyle tips?

“I am not sure I am the best person to give hairstyle tips!”

Boris Johnson

That last answer came after the Mayor’s signature under a ‘PS’ which I found quite amusing. The Mayor also said “thank you again for writing to me and that your interest in politics continues.”