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Karen Lumley MP answers ConHome's Twenty Questions for the Class of 2010

Here is the latest in our series of Twenty Questions with members of the Class of 2010...

Karen Lumley 2 Karen Lumley was elected MP for Redditch with a majority of 5,821.

1. What is your earliest political memory? It would have been the miners' strike in the 1970s when we had to sit at home and play cards at night by candlelight and wear our coats in school as there wasn’t any heating.

2. Complete the sentence: “I’m a Conservative because… I believe that individuals know best how to run their lives and not the state. I think that we as politicians should be enablers for our communities and those who aspire to provide a better life for themselves and their families”

3. Who is your political hero and why? It will have to be Margaret Thatcher. I met her at a rally in the Midlands when I was 18 and was inspired by her. To be able to be an MP and later the PM and still manage to bring up a family is a challenge in itself but to change our country too is inspirational.

4. When did you decide you wanted to become an MP? It was when I lost my council seat in 1995 in Wrexham. I had got a taste of local politics and was at that time the youngest group leader in Wales and thought I’d like to carry on to the next level.

5. What is your reading material of choice? I love all sorts of books from political biographies to thrillers, romantic comedies and of course the Redditch Advertiser and Standard. The time to read them is another matter.

6. Who is your favourite political interviewer/presenter on TV or radio? I really like Carolyn Quinn. She came to Redditch to interview me in the 2005 election and was tough but fair and a really genuine person.

7. If you could run any government department, which would it be and why? Education. I was really surprised when I came to live in Redditch just how much of a postcode lottery funding was. Both of my children were educated in the state system and although received a great education could have had more resources if we had lived 7 miles up the road. I also believe strongly in a more vocational approach to education for some of our young people.

8. Which non-Conservative politician do you most admire? Mohamed Nashid, the President of the Maldives for standing up for his principles even though it led to him being tortured and jailed many times.

9. Who would you least want to get stuck with in a House of Commons lift? Gordon Brown, as I wouldn’t know what to say to him and I’m not sure he would be able to calm me down as I would be hysterical by then.

10. If you were in the US, would you be a Republican or a Democrat? A very reluctant Republican,

11. What do you enjoy doing to unwind and relax? Watching Holby City and spending quality time with my family.

12. What is your favourite book? The House of Cards by Michael Dobbs.

13. What is your favourite film? The Bodyguard.

14. What is your favourite music? Abba.

15. What would be your ideal meal and where would you eat it? A roast dinner cooked by me on a Sunday in my own kitchen in Redditch with my family.

16. What is your favourite holiday destination? Lanzarote.

17. What do you most want to achieve during your first term in Parliament? – I want to be able to say I’ve been able to make a difference to my constituents' lives Whether that is by helping bring jobs to the area, raising education standards or providing a great NHS, anything I can do to help is my priority.

18. Tell us one interesting, unusual or surprising fact about yourself. Before the election it was my 25th wedding anniversary so I had purple highlights added to match my dress and liked them so much I had more after the election.

19. Tell us one interesting, unusual or surprising fact about your constituency. Redditch is renowned for its trees and roundabouts. Most people who visit me get lost.

20. Share with us your most amusing story or favourite anecdote from the campaign trail. During the campaign one of the debates was in a factory where we all had to wear white coats, hair nets, protective glasses and shoes! We were all of us trying not be photographed!

> Previously: Christopher Pincher MP


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