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Mark Pawsey 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...

Mark Pawsey Commons Mark Pawsey was elected MP for Rugby with a majority of 6,000.

1. What is your earliest political memory?  In 1967 I wrote to Prime Minister Harold Wilson to complain about his devaluation of the £ which led to an increase in the cost of my school trip to France. The reply I received was in civil servant speak, which made very little sense to a 10 year old!

2. Complete the sentence: “I’m a Conservative because… I believe that Government should simply set a framework, and then let people get on with their lives with the minimum interference from others.”

3. Who is your political hero and why? Margaret Thatcher’s courage in sending the Task Force to the Falklands and then taking on the National Union of Mineworkers, having prepared for the confrontation, had a huge impact on me.

4. When did you decide you wanted to become an MP?  Rugby should have been regained for the Conservatives in 2001 but wasn’t. I thought I could have won the seat then, and was challenged to put my name forward for the next election. In the event I wasn’t selected for Rugby, but went on to contest the neighbouring seat of Nuneaton.

5. What is your reading material of choice? I’m a news junkie and read as many papers as I can. The first section of the bookshop I visit before going on holiday contains the biographies.

6. Who is your favourite political interviewer/presenter on TV or radio? It’s hard not to admire the challenging style of Paxman.

7. If you could run any government department, which would it be and why? Having spent my pre-Parliament career running a small business, I would want to champion the role of business generally at BIS.

8. Which non-Conservative politician do you most admire? I enjoyed selecting young people with promise to join my business and have enjoyed listening to the contributions of young, new members on both sides of the House. Toby Perkins has made some good early contributions for Labour.

9. Who would you least want to get stuck with in a House of Commons lift? Gordon Brown would be a good candidate, but this is unlikely to happen as he is so rarely here.

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

11. What do you enjoy doing to unwind and relax? My favourite place is at home in the garden on summer’s day with nothing to do and just larking around with my family.

12. What is your favourite book? The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck had a great impact on me when I first read it aged 14 or 15.

13. What is your favourite film? I know the original Italian Job inside out, and once took my son to Turin to look out for locations from the film. I understand the sewers sequence was filmed in Coventry!

14. What is your favourite music? Early Genesis, from my time at university.

15. What would be your ideal meal and where would you eat it? I enjoy all food and particularly Italian, and ate very well on a recent trip to Milan with my wife on our wedding anniversary.

16. What is your favourite holiday destination? I live in the delightful Warwickshire countryside and as an alternative enjoy any short break in towns and cities.

17. What do you most want to achieve during your first term in Parliament? I aim to be a great MP for my home town, standing up for the interest of people I grew up with, while establishing myself in Westminster as someone who can be relied upon to do a good job.

18. Tell us one interesting, unusual or surprising fact about yourself. My business career has left me with a detailed knowledge of the many different ways to package a hamburger.

19. Tell us one interesting, unusual or surprising fact about your constituency. Rugby is, of course, where William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran, thus creating the game for hooligans played by gentlemen.

20. Share with us your most amusing story or favourite anecdote from the campaign trail. Campaigning is a team game and the bigger the team the better. We pooled our resources and one evening a handful of Labour Party canvassers came across a dozen of our team. They moved off to the next street where they encountered another dozen of us and, deciding discretion was the better part of valour, retired early to the pub, one of their party sadly commenting: “there’s ****ing hundreds of them!”

> Previously: James Morris MP


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