Visit by Lady Sylvia Hermon MP
Lady Hermon began the meeting by denouncing Conservative MP Nadine Dorries’ decision to leave Westminster for the Australian jungle. Lady Hermon also spoke of her surprise when Ms Dorries referred to other MPs as rats, although Lady Hermon assured us that she most certainly was not referring to her! She then went on to tell us that since the 2010 election when she became an independent MP, her blood pressure has gone right down, mainly because she is her own boss and doesn’t have any party leaders telling her what to do.
The first question she was asked by pupils was:
What were your reasons for leaving the Ulster Unionist Party?
Lady Hermon started by saying that she had not left the Ulster Unionists but that they had left her in selecting another candidate for her seat. She thought that the way the party had treated her was wrong, making us laugh in telling us how she found out about their link – up with the Conservatives. She was doing her shopping one day when see saw a newspaper saying “Unionists to join with Tories”. Lady Hermon said she picked up the paper wondering what Peter Robinson had done only to find out it was her own party! Lady Hermon finished this question by categorically stating she ‘was not a Tory!’
Another question asked was:
Have you ever considered doing the Labour Party, or bringing any mainland party to Northern Ireland?
Lady Hermon quickly replied “No! Of course not!” She said she would never return to a party for the sake of her health though she did say that since becoming an independent MP she had been invited by Labour and UKIP to join them!
Overall, Lady Hermon provided a great insight into how Parliament and party politics works and what she loves about it.
Chairman of the Politics Society