UK
20/05/2014 03:56 BST | Updated 20/05/2014 03:59 BST

MP Charlotte Leslie Recreates Beach Photo To Raise Awareness Of Lifesaving Efforts Of Lifeguards

This is the moment MP Charlotte Leslie took to the beach to recreate a picture which emerged of her as a young Tory - looking like a stunning Baywatch babe. Donning a red swimming costume the 35-year-old posed in a bid to raise awareness of the lifesaving efforts carried out daily on Britain's coasts.

The picture mirrors a photograph taken in 1999 when she was just 20, which shows the svelte student working as a lifeguard in Cornwall during her university summers. The MP said the photo was a reminder of her happy summers where she learnt "invaluable skills" about life.

charlotte leslie

Leslie: 'Recreating the picture made me remember how nice it was being in an outside office'

"It taught me a huge deal that I am so grateful for. The skills I learnt I use now in the world of politics. Unfortunately, people think talking is the same thing as doing in politics, when it is definitely not.

"Recreating the picture made me remember how nice it was being in an outside office again, rather than rushing around parliament with bells going off and having to scurry to vote. It brought back to many memories. There is definitely more of me now than there was back then mind you!"

Charlotte became one of the youngest MPs in parliament when she was elected aged just 31 in 2010. Before her political career she was an Olympic swimming hopeful and worked as a lifeguard patrolling the beaches of Bude, Cornwall before and during university. Speaking after the shoot, at Portishead Lido, near Bristol, Charlotte said the work of Bude Surf Life Saving Club was invaluable, and had shaped her life.

But she said the clubs, and many others across the country, were run by an "amazing army of volunteers" and needed all the support they could get to survive. "The Bude club is amazing, it trains kids, or nippers, from as young as seven and they are trained all the way through to passing their Life Saving exams and get employed on our beaches.

"It is completely run by volunteers, when you are on the beach you are safe thanks for an army of volunteers. It is completely charity based and all self-funded. It is absolutely amazing, it is like the fourth or fifth emergency service which no one really knows about.

"The sea is such a dangerous place, people often don't know how to behave, it is not only their task to patrol but to educate the public too. I believe Bude was the first Life Saving club to open in Britain. It is due to celebrate it's 60th anniversary this year, which is just amazing.

"But they are desperately trying to source funding to redevelop its clubhouse and to maintain its incredible record of service to the community. I would just urge everyone to do what they can to help these clubs, they really do need all the support they can get.

"If you live near the coast and feel like you could be the next Baywatch then go along and find out more. It is a brilliant way to keep fit, the exercise and health benefits from it all are really second to none."

The MP added that any money she received from the shoot would go to the Bude Surf Life Saving Club.