Heidi Allen shares her experiences of being an MP with Perse students
South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen gave students an insight into life in Parliament during her visit to The Perse School.
The Conservative MP told the audience 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 do something to make a difference in this country.
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, to discover how to get into politics.
Mrs Allen told how she had come from a business and astrophysics background. After being encouraged in her ambitions to become an MP by the Tories, it was this that played a part in her decision to stand for the party in South Cambs, with the Cambridge area being a centre for high-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.
She told how her priorities were country and constituency before party or herself when it came to her views on matters, explaining the “biggest lesson I’ve learned is there are a lot of different ways to achieve things in Parliament” and the benefits of cross-party working is important on certain issues.
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.