Question and Answer Session with
Helen Whately MP
Myles – Do you have an office?
Helen – Yes I have a very tiny office in the old part of The Houses of Parliament. There are over 1000 rooms so it is very easy to get lost! I only spend a very small amount of my time in the office.
Maddie – Do you have a deputy for when you are ill?
Helen – No I don’t have a deputy so I have to continue even if I am ill. It is very important for MPs to go to the Houses of Parliament to vote as if I do not turn up the opposing party might get more votes.
Molly – Is the Prime Minister good at Maths?
Helen – I have no idea but I hope so! He does have lots of helpers.
Henry – Does the Prime Minister pay you lots of money?
Helen – All MPs get paid as otherwise only very rich people would be able to work for Parliament and that would be wrong. If you are a Minister you get paid more as you have extra responsibilities.
Freya – Were you a school councillor?
Helen – My school didn’t have a school council but I was once a form captain. I think school councils are great as they represent all the children, encourage teamwork and that is the basis of democracy.
William – May we come and visit you in the House of Commons?
Helen – I would love you to visit – we will see if we can organise something.
Hallie – What time do you get up in the morning?
Helen – I have three young children and they wake me up very early but we have an agreement now that they do not come in my room before 7am!
James – Do you work long hours?
Helen – On a normal day I work from around 9.30am to 8pm but sometimes I have to go to the House of Commons for a vote at around 1 – 2am. So I do work long hours but I have a very varied and interesting job.
Daisy – Do you have any plans for Faversham?
Helen – Yes – Faversham is a lovely historic town and I want to encourage more visitors to come and see everything it has to offer. So I mention it all the time when I am making a speech in the House of Commons. I also am working on trying to get a new lift at Faversham station for everyone to use. And, of course, I am trying to get more money for schools.
Jim – Will you try and keep our Cottage Hospital open?
Helen – I know someone whose Grandma was in the Cottage Hospital and it was great because it meant that all the family could go and visit all the time as it was so local. It would be good if we could have more like it.
Sofia – Have you met the Queen?
Helen – No I haven’t met the Queen but I have seen her a few times in the House of Lords. I would like to meet her one day.
Jake – What is a typical day in the life of an MP?
Helen – There isn’t a typical day as every day is very different. However, yesterday I dropped my children to school and rushed to the House of Commons as debating started at 9.30am. I stood and asked a question and talked about tourism in Faversham. It can be quite nerve racking as we are filmed and it is on television for anyone to watch.
Then I met with a minister to discuss the refugee crisis in Europe.
Later in the day I met with a team to discuss sugar, the effects on our health and how we could help families avoid eating too much of it.