Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland returned to his old school to inspire the next generation of politicians.
Re-elected for his second term as the MP for Leeds North-West, Greg won his first election aged just 16, standing for the sixth form committee at St Ambrose College in Hale Barns, Cheshire. He is now one of three MPs from the same generation of Old Ambrosians sitting in parliament alongside Conservatives Paul Maynard and Damien Hinds.
Mr Mulholland said: “I remember Damien, who was a year older than me, giving me advice on how to win an election, and I now like to tease him that although he was the first to get elected to the St Ambrose Sixth Form Committee, I was the first to get elected to Parliament.”
The son of former Cheshire County Councillor and long time Hale resident, John Mulholland, who sat four times for the Liberals and then Liberal Democrats in Altrincham, Greg Mulholland studied Politics at York before working in marketing. He was elected to Leeds City Council in 2003 and won his Leeds seat by a majority of some 1900 in 2005, quadrupling his majority in 2010.
He answered questions on coalition politics, the Labour Party leadership, the green debate and future of the economy as he was quizzed by the College’s eager A Level Politics students. He said: “It is often said that young people are no longer interested in politics. They may well be less interested in party politics, but they are certainly deeply concerned with issue politics and it was a fascinating challenge to debate different topics with the current sixth formers.”
He added: “It was a wonderful experience to speak in the same Sixth Form block in which I was first inspired to become a politician.”
Regarding his own future, Mr Mulholland said: “My ambition was to become an MP and a good MP. As a Liberal Democrat I did not go into politics necessarily to hold office, just to serve the people. Even though the coalition now holds out the prospect of ministerial office for members of my party, I think I am probably a little too outspoken to climb the greasy pole.”
David Lindsay, St Ambrose college head of politics, said: “It used to be said that our politicians learned to rule the country on the playing fields of Eton. With three MPs currently in Parliament and hopefully many more to come, I wonder if St Ambrose could now make the same claim.”