MP discusses women in frontline politics
Sixth formers packed out the School Hall on Friday 10th February to hear Andrea Leadsom MP speak and to take the opportunity to ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs some questions.
A prominent ‘leave’ campaigner and one of the final MPs in the running for Prime Minister in last year's Conservative leadership contest, Mrs Leadsom spoke passionately to the girls about her desire to “incentivise, motivate and inspire”.
Before Mrs Leadsom began her speech, she asked the girls to raise their hands if they considered themselves to be on the side of the Leave or Remain campaigns. While the Headington girls overwhelmingly described themselves as ‘remainers’, they were interested to hear Mrs Leadsom’s take on politics and the economy since the June referendum.
Speaking on her motivation to break into the world of politics, Mrs Leadsom said her wish to become an MP began at age 13 while she waited for the outcome of the Cold War between the former USSR and the USA. Noting that the problems facing today’s politicians – the rising problem of human trafficking and the global threat of terrorism – were much different to the ones that she read about as a child, Mrs Leadsom said the changes she has pursued most enthusiastically are those surrounding environmental policy.
Since the UK voted to leave the EU last year, Mrs Leadsom has been heavily involved in creating new policies that will shape Britain once it has officially separated from the European Union. Many of these policies have been focussed on the distribution of UK taxpayer’s money and developing the farming sector and agricultural technology.
There was a chance for the girls to ask some questions at the end and they spoke intelligently on their concerns regarding immigration policy, the opportunities for women in politics and how the UK was planning to maintain its economy following the triggering of Article 50. Mrs Leadsom answered each of the questions and praised the girls for their insight and interest in such important political issues. Ending the talk by assuring the girls that “you can be very positive, you are all in good hands… [Leaving the EU] is not a divorce, simply an opportunity to develop a new relationship”, the girls left freshly inspired and motivated to take on the challenges of this new era of British politics.