Thank you very much to the Year 6 pupils at Windmill Primary School for asking these questions.
1) If you became prime minister, what would you change about education?
I would like all schools, everywhere in Britain, to have enough funding so they can pay for more teachers and teaching assistants.
2) Do you always support what your party believes in?
Not when I don’t believe in it- for example, I am opposed to the use of nuclear weapons and would vote against renewing Britain’s ones (Trident) even though this is party policy.
3) How do you manage to have your voice heard with 650 MPs?
It is difficult, but you need to first, pick on a specific issue that you want to work on, and then just keep banging on about it until people start to listen! Trying to involve others in that issue helps as well. It’s hard to change things as a single person and much easier when you work with others- sometimes, including from other parties.
4) If you could change something in your party that would benefit others, what would it be?
I would like to see more young people involved as members, councillors and MPs.
5) Do you think private schools should have a tax free status?
Personally, no. I know a lot of private schools do good work in the city, but ultimately they do separate different groups of children from each other.
6) What do you love discussing most with your party?
Who should be the leader! Haha no I am joking!
I think the most enjoyable thing is when we can discuss together what we can change for the better. So for example in Oxford we’ve discussed what we can do to help people rough sleeping and there have been some really good new measures put into place because of that.
7) What inspired you to become an MP?
It wasn’t something I always wanted to do, as initially I wanted to be an academic and did that for many years. I think it was wanting to tackle injustice and trying to enable everyone to have the same chances in life.
8) Why did you choose to become a member of your party?
It is in favour of equality and social justice.
9) Who inspires you to be a better MP and person?
One thing that really inspires me is seeing how other people have changed things for the better and learning about how they achieved this. For example, Karen Buck, Labour MP for Westminster North, has led a campaign to improve tenants’ rights by enabling them to complain against poor landlords and seek compensation if their landlord fails to act. She has managed to get the Government to concede the main principle to make it a right to have a home fit for living in, and this will make a real difference to tenants in my constituency and across the country.
10) What subject comes up in parliament the most?
At the moment it is Brexit.
11) Who do you think behaves better – a class of kids or a parliament for of MPs?
Sometimes I would say that MPs (especially when they get excited) are as loud and shouty as children in the playground!
12) Do you think there is adequate funding for education?
13) What are your aspirations as an MP for 2019 and beyond?
I think the first thing to sort out is to stop Britain leaving the EU without arrangements so we can keep lorries being able to go underneath the sea in the tunnel, and so that people from other European countries are able to stay here without having to fill out lots of forms and have a lot of hassle.
Another big priority of mine is to try and get more houses which are not really expensive, built in and near Oxford, and to get the cost of housing down. We also need to help people who don’t have a home of their own.
Finally, we need to do more to keep the air we breathe clean. We will soon have in the middle of Oxford an area where smoke-producing cars are not allowed- we need to think about having this approach apply in other parts of the city and make people feel like they will be safe on their bikes.
14) What is the most frustrating thing in your job?
Not having enough time to do everything I want to do! However I am helped a lot by my lovely staff who help to answer people’s emails, letters and phone calls and do lots and lots of other things to help me as well. Without them I don’t know what I would do!