Diversity and Parliament: what motivated you to become a Member of Parliament?
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Diversity and Parliament: what motivated you to become a Member of Parliament?

November 30, 2019


>>DAWN BUTLER: I was first elected in 2005. It wasn’t something that I always wanted to be so I didn’t start off wanting to be
a Member of Parliament. I actually wanted to be a children’s presenter at one stage.
I studied computers at college and my first job was a Computer Programmer but I became
very active in the Trade Union movement. There was a seat once, it was in Hackney and the
guys couldn’t stand for that seat because it was an all-women short-list, so they started
calling me because they wanted a Trade Unionist saying “would I stand?” and I was like
“no, no, no, I’m fine.” People don’t like MPs and politicians, and I was quite
happy being liked as a full time Trade Union Rep, but then afterwards I thought that I
could be the kind of MP that I want to be and even though I didn’t see people like
me in Parliament – they didn’t look like me or they didn’t speak like me – I thought
I could give it a go. And so that was my motivation and knowing that I could be a different MP
and make a difference to other people like me.>>LORD OUSELEY: I became a Member of the
House of Lords in 2001. It was a process of applying, it was the first time that the so-called
‘People’s Peers’ were set up. My motivation was very much that of making a contribution.>>KWASI KWATENG: What motivated me to become
a Member of Parliament? Well it’s a difficult question. I mean I was always very interested
in politics when I was at school, maybe sort of fifteen, sixteen, but I actually went to
read History at University and then I did a number of jobs in financial services. But
always in the back of my mind I was very interested in people, how people interacted, about issues,
about the Government. These sorts of experiences really meant that I was much more focused
about trying to become a Member of Parliament – trying to represent people, a community.>>DAVID LAMMY: I was motivated to become
a Member of Parliament because I was a young lawyer. I would be going into prisons and
meeting young people who had been arrested. I would be representing people who had lost
money through a small business and I kept coming back to: ‘‘Why is it like this?
Why are these kids in prison? Why is this company going bust?’’ and I think I was
the kind of lawyer that was interested in policy. How do you change the world so these
young people aren’t in prison? How do you fix the world so this business doesn’t go
bust? It wasn’t just dealing with one problem, one thing at a time, it was changing the whole
world, changing the whole context. The world can be a better place.

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