As #ThankYourMP Trends On Twitter, Here's Proof MPs Are Just Like Us


Jo Cox was an outstanding example of the swathe of new talent that arrived to the House of Commons after the 2015 general election.

HuffPost UK interviewed Jo for our "15 from ’15" series with last year's intake, which sought to highlight the rising stars in all parties.

And like Jo, many of the new MPs are young, have lived a life outside politics and more "normal" than many of the public give politicians credit for.

In her interview, the late MP for Batley and Spen admitted she was “a bit of an indie chick” who loved The White Stripes, saw herself as a “bit of a groover” and wished politicians from all parties would work together more.

Here are some extracts from our other interviews in the series.

Expect Kylie Minogue, swearing and Star Wars.

Jess Philips, Labour, on her favourite film
Yui Mok/PA Wire
"There are real answers and fake answers. My favourite film is probably Star Wars. I do love Starship Troopers, it is a great film but it’s not a film I watch over and over again. Whereas Star Wars I’ve watched over and over again all my life, and it’s a film I can tolerate watching with my children. I know it’s cool to think Empire Strikes Back is the best one but I’m a big fan of Return of the Jedi - it’s intellectual snobbery. Also the film, Romancing The Stone. It’s got everything. A saxophone soundtrack, swashbuckling, a love story. How can a woman really exist without being married to Michael Douglas? I’m an empty shell!"

Johnny Mercer, Conservative, on appearing in a Dove shower gel advert
Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive
"Dove doesn’t use models – clearly, the used me – and I think they were looking for slightly overweight middle-aged men and they came to me. It was an advertising agency who asked me if I would like to do it, and I thought no, but then they put me and the family up in a hotel in London and gave us a bit of money, and I got to stand in the shower for four hours and get lathered up – what’s not to like?"

Stephen Gethins, SNP, on Kylie Minogue
Danny Lawson/PA Archive
"My tastes are quite Catholic, I was quite into Britpop when growing up so was a huge fan of Suede. I liked Blur maybe more than Oasis. And I’m a big Morrissey and Smiths fan. The Clash I love.

"But I have to admit I am a big Kylie fan. I’ve been to two Kylie concerts, including the opening night of her world Showgirl tour. There’s no excuse whatsoever. I went there enthusiastically of my own volition. The tunes are great and it’s just good fun."

Wes Streeting, Labour, on where he was born and raised
Laura Lean/PA Wire
"I was born in Tower Hamlets in London Hospital, Mile End. I grew up in Stepney on a council estate and lived with my mum and only saw my dad on weekends. I come from a single parent family but with both parents. I always stress that because my poor dad always gets written out and I always feel sorry for him because it’s like he abandoned me, which he never did."

James Cleverly, Conservative, on his favourite band
Ian West/PA Archive

"Radiohead. Favourite album is a tough one. Either The Bends or OK Computer. Probably The Bends. What am I talking about – it’s definitely The Bends. My wife thinks it’s dirge and she won’t listen to it. She’s wrong. I love my wife, I listen to her judgment calls on many, many things, she is almost always right but on Radiohead she is so wrong – bearing in mind she likes ABBA."

Angela Crawley, SNP, on changing politics
Andrew Milligan/PA Archive
"Politics needs to be more representative. I don’t think this place is representative. It’s still men in grey suits. I want to see women, I want to see young people, I want to see LGBT, I want to see more of the BME community. The UK is a diverse country so why is Parliament not reflective of that? Until that, this building won’t engage with people, and they won’t engage with it. I think there’s an onus on parties to be more reflective."

Conor McGinn, Labour, on working in prisons
Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
"I worked for a charity that worked with prisoners and their families, so I visited about 50/60 prisons across the UK in about 18 months. That was a really tough job. The people I met in prison – women’s prisons I found really tough. I thought it was awful and the stories that I heard from women that were so institutionalised had spent so long in prison and on Christmas Eve, or the day before Christmas Eve, would shop lift so they would have somewhere safe and secure to be on Christmas. It’s just appalling."

Ranil Jayawardena, Conservative, on relaxing with his baby daughter
"I do love going out for a walk, either in my village or popping down the Basingstoke canal in the village that my wife, Alison, grew up in. It’s nice to go for a walk as it’s something all three of us can do together: Alison, myself and my baby daughter Daisy. It’s a moment where, more often than not, there’s no mobile signal so that’s lovely. That tends to be what we’re doing at the moment."

Brendan O'Hara, SNP on leaving school at 16
"I left school with a rather derisory - and with hindsight appalling - set of exam results so went straight into Glasgow district council, as it was then, and did five years as a repairs clerk. People would come and complain about the state of their house and I was front counter. Telling people we would be there in three weeks if they had a burst pipe. That was horrific.

"I had a moment when a colleague said ‘I’ve been here 15 years this week’ and a light went off in my head. I thought: ‘I’ve got to get out of here.’ I went back to college, then went to university in my mid-20s. I was very, very lucky to be able to do that. I don’t think I could have done that today. We’re now in a situation where if you’re not totally switched on at 16 there’s a danger you get left behind."

Andrea Jenkyns, Conservative, on why she became interested in politics
Geoff Caddick/PA Archive
"The turning point for me was when my dad went into hospital in 2011 for a routine operation as he had fluid on his lungs. A trainee doctor practiced on him for two and a half hours and he subsequently caught MRSA and died. That was a real turning point.

"Two days before he died he said: 'When I get better we should set a charity up that looks at hospital infections and really gives support to the families and see what research we can do.' I shook on it and two days later he died.

"A month later I emailed the charity MRSA Action and said: ‘Can I get involved?’ Mum and I became trustees and I became their regional voluntary rep for the region."

Melanie Onn, Labour, on what she would change in politics
Anna Gowthorpe/PA Archive
"Parliament needs to be more family friendly if it’s going to be representative of the population. There are really simple changes that the Government could introduce, like giving proper notice for timings of debates and votes. Small things like that would make being a parent or carer far more manageable for both MP’s and the staff who work here."

David Warburton, Conservative, on what people think about MPs
David Warburton
"People think ‘He’s a Tory so he wants to burn kittens or beat up an old lady’. I hate that, I hate that. It’s massively unfair and massively untrue."

Suella Fernandes, Conservative, on her inspirational mum
Suella Fernandes
"I’ve been inspired by my mum. She was a nurse who came to this country as an 18 year old from Mauritius. She was recruited by the NHS and she really got involved in the community and in politics as a result as a way of integration and serving."

Tom Pursglove, Conservative, on why he stood for Parliament
Tom Pursglove
"One of the reasons I put myself forward for this is not only because I think you’ve got to have some younger people in Parliament, but when people look at the House of Commons they think ‘I can relate to that’ - which previously I think wasn’t necessarily so easy.

"I also think it’s about trying to send a really clear signal to youngsters who had a background similar to mine that actually you can go and do this if you are determined and if you want to do this, put your name forward and go out there and go after it."

Stephen Kinnock, Labour, on relaxing
PA/PA Wire
"I love to play sport and I go to the gym but I’m also in the five a-side football team that plays on a Tuesday morning here, made up of mainly MPs but a few other bods that come along. Certainly the highlight of my parliamentary career so far was nutmegging Justin Madders MP."


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