INTERVIEW: MP Andrea Leadsom quizzed on Brexit, bullying and Bercow during visit to Buckingham

South Northants MP Andrea Leadsom
South Northants MP Andrea Leadsom

Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom spoke about bullies, Brexit and Bercow at an event at the University of Buckingham on Thursday May 31.

The South Northamptonshire MP began by denouncing violence towards women in public life, evoking memories of the murdered MP Jo Cox, before focusing on three main themes – encouraging young people to engage in politics, protecting free speech, and making Parliament a place of dignity and respect.

Keen to tackle the apparent political apathy of young people, the House Leader said: “The key message I want to leave with you today is if you want to see something change, keep at it.

“Do an e-petition, or go and see your member of Parliament.”

Expressing concern at the recent noplatforming of, in particular Conservative speakers at universities, the MP beckoned students to “never ever allow free speech to be sunk under your watch.”

The one time Tory leadership contender then spoke passionately about chairing the working group of the soon to be established independent complaints and grievance procedure.

Tying it back in to the treatment of women in politics, Mrs Leadsom concluded by saying that parliament must be “worthy of the incredible effort of those suffragettes and suffragists 100 years ago who fought to make it possible for me, as a woman, to be sat here in front of you today as the leader of the House of Commons.”

After her speech this paper was able to interview the leader of the House and quiz her about how she thought her words aligned with recent events.

When pressed on why, bearing in mind her expressed desire to stop the Andrea Leadsom faces questions at Buckingham University bullying culture, she hadn’t

made a formal complaint against Buckingham MP John Bercow after he called her “a stupid woman,” Mrs Leadsom answered: “I’m wanting to focus on the prize, which is changing the culture of Parliament, not focusing on any individual case.”

The outspoken Leave EU campaigner became animated when asked if she thought there were grounds for a second referendum in light of the stuttering progress of the Brexit negotiations and the fact that more than 4.5 million people have signed an online petition calling for one.

Mrs Leadsom began by saying: “We’ve had a referendum and it was a very convincing win.”

When asked if she really thought that a 3.78% victory margin qualified as “convincing,” the prominent Brexiter replied: “It was the biggest turnout in...ever!”

As we pointed out online last week, there have actually been 17 general elections in the past 100 years with a higher turnout.

Mrs Leadsom’s office contacted this paper to insist that she was merely referring to the two other referendums held in this country’s history.