Politics was always something that appealed to me

Politics is something I have always been passionate about.Perhaps unusually, I used to watch Spitting Image, The New Statesman and the original House of Cards as a child, so the interest has always been there, writes Brendan Clarke-Smith MP.

Friday, 24th January 2020, 3:08 pm
Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith. Photo: London Portrait Photoqrapher-DAV

After going through the academic route and studying politics, as well as many years as a councillor, I thought I would be well prepared for whatever Westminster decided to throw at me.

When you actually get there however, you realise there is far more to the job than meets the eye.

In all honesty, the Commons chamber itself is a lot smaller than you expect and it still feels very strange rubbing shoulders with household names.

Many of my colleagues gave their maiden speeches this week, which is a daunting prospect, as is remembering how you should address people

properly, such as ‘honourable friend’, ‘right honourable’ or ‘minister’ (I’ve made a mistake with this already).

During a maiden speech it is customary to thank your predecessor and to highlight issues in your constituency (and also a good way of getting Worksop mentioned).

It’s also the only time in your parliamentary career when you can expect not to be interrupted or heckled whilst speaking.

I’m currently in the process of writing mine, so wish me luck.

I finally got a Westminster office this week and have been showing off because it contains a small fridge.

On the downside my name was spelt wrong on the door, it had no equipment in it to start with and is also as far away from the chamber as you could imagine.

When the division bell rings for voting you have eight minutes to run from wherever you are to the voting lobbies.

In my case the distance means this resembles a scene from Chariots of Fire, but now my football career is over I probably need the exercise.

Once the week in Westminster is finished however, we are back in our constituencies holding surgeries and visiting local businesses and organisations.

This week I’ll be meeting both the district and the county councisl to discuss how we can work together for the benefit of Bassetlaw and I can’t think of a better job than that.