Ged Killen Rutherglen and Hamilton West
Primary 7 pupils at St Peter’s Primary were given the chance to quiz their local MP last week when Ged Killen visited the school.
The pupils from Ms Keatings’ class asked the local representative about what brought him into politics, the challenges of being an MP and gender equality.
Speaking afterwards Ged Killen MP said:
“It was fantastic to meet the pupils at St Peters Primary. They all had great questions to ask and I was really impressed by the level of political awareness at such a young age.
“They were all well behaved, bright young people who seemed to take a real interest in politics and how it affects the community. I am sure there are a few potential future MPs in there ”
Some of the questions asked included:
- What inspired you to be an MP?
I was always interested in politics and when I was at school I was on the pupil council, but I never really planned to become an MP. When I was growing I saw that the Labour Party was taking the lead in changing people’s lives for the better so I always felt naturally aligned with Labour. Then when a friend of my family – a Glasgow City councillor who became Lord Provost – encouraged me to get involved in politics, I joined my local Labour Party. After a few years of being involved in the local party, I stood to become a councillor and I really enjoyed working in the local community and representing people on the council. Then when the snap election was called, I decided to put my name forward and now I get to represent my local area as an MP which is great.
- How hard is it to deny people’s requests?
I never deny a request, but sometimes people come to me with issues or problems that are difficult to resolve or they don’t get the outcome they were hoping for and that’s very hard.Normally when people come to see their MP it’s because they have found themselves in very tough situations and don’t have many other options left so I always try to do everything I possibly can to help.I came into politics to help people so it is always very difficult if I can’t resolve a problem.
- What does a politician mean to you?
Anyone with an interest in making their community better. Some of those people stand for election and hold official positions like councillors, MPs and MSPs, but you don’t have to do that to be a politician or a campaigner.
- Do you get days off?
There are days when Parliament isn’t sitting. We have a recess over summer and others throughout the year, but they are days that I spend in the working in my constituency rather than ‘days off’. But I do try and spend time with family whenever I can as well.
- What do you think about men and women doing the same job but men get paid more?
I think it’s wrong and I am shocked that sometimes it still happens. Paying men and women different rates has been illegal since the 1970’s but a lot of people still don’t understand what that means. I think most people understand that you can’t pay men and women different rates for the same exact jobs, but it is also illegal to pay different rates for jobs of the same value.
- Do you think men and women get treated the same?
No, I don’t. I think we are getting much better at treating people the same than we were when I was your age, but I think we have a long way still to go.