The happy life of an MP

SAFFRON Walden MP Sire Alan Haselhurst revealed his secrets for a happy life when he answered questions from year six pupils at an Essex school.

The Conservative MP told the Dame Bradbury’s School children that even if he had once aspired to be a prime minister, he no longer wanted to be.

“The secret of life is to be content with what you’ve got and enjoy what life brings you,” he said.

“It’s good to be ambitious and want to take the next step, but if you don’t get further, don’t despair, but appreciate what you have achieved.”

Sir Alan told the children that most MPs want to be prime minister at some stage, but that he himself had quickly realised “that it is not so easy to get there, and that there are so many other satisfying things to do in politics”.

The former Deputy Speaker who is now chairman of the House of Commons Administration Committee spoke about some of the challenges of his new role - such as sorting out the catering at the House of Commons. He said the best thing about his present job is “being able to get a result”.

Sir Alan answered a wide range of questions from the pupils on topics that included the proposed sale of Forestry Commission woodlands, his career, his inspiration (Sir Winston Churchill) and his favourite job before he became an MP (working in the plastics industry in South Africa).

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Year six teacher Lucy Bullen said: “Sir Alan’s visit to Dame Bradbury’s followed our very successful Year 6 trip to the House of Commons.

“Sir Alan was so engaged with the children and their questions – he has given them a real insight into politics and the importance of contributing to society.”