An Interview with Gareth Johnson MP by Neve Wilson, Dartford Grammar School for Girls – This is Local London

Life is certainly different at the moment. I interviewed Gareth Johnson, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Dartford, to see what life is like for him and asked him for his opinion on some of the worlds current issues.

Becoming an MP may seem unachievable for most people, but Mr Johnson shows that this doesnt have to be the case. I decided I wanted to become a politician whilst studying at Dartford Grammar School. I felt strongly about many issues and wanted to do something about the things I believed in, he explained. Whilst there are many ways of bringing about change in the world, Gareth Johnson added that one way of doing this is through politics.

We often see politicians debating important matters in the Houses of Parliament, but it is difficult to ascertain what a typical day might look like for them. I asked Mr Johnson to clarify this, but he had no specific answer. When I have a typical day, then I will be able to answer this question! In truth, the varied nature of my work is one of its attractive qualities. Members of Parliament appear to work extremely hard, so I wasnt sure whether they have time to participate in hobbies. The spare time I get I like to spend with my family, Mr Johnson said, I enjoy rugby and cricket but alas only watching these days.

I also questioned Gareth Johnson on Parliamentary topics, such as on All-Party Parliamentary Groups. Currently, I am chairman of the Netball APPG, created to support netball, which began in Dartford at the end of the 19th century.

When asked about the impacts of the coronavirus within the Dartford constituency, Mr Johnson revealed, we have sadly had over a hundred deaths and the impact on peoples employment and businesses has been profound.

Same-sex marriage has historically been a controversial subject, but Gareth Johnsons opinions on the matter have evolved over time. Same-sex marriage has been much more of a success than I previously believed it would, he said, I have never had any difficulties with gay people adopting. Mr Johnson also elaborated on civil partnerships, informing me, the fact now that both gay and straight couples can have civil partnerships has been a positive step. It was wrong in my view that at one stage straight couples were banned from having civil partnerships.

Another controversial issue that Gareth Johnson talked about was whether the voting age should be lowered to 16 or not. We need to draw a line as to when people can vote and I think that 18 is about right, he commented, if we are to keep 18 as the age restriction for buying alcohol and tobacco, having a tattoo and so on, then it is right we keep 18 for voting. However, he also mentioned that it is important for all ages to be educated about current affairs and politics.

From speaking with Gareth Johnson over email, it is clear that MPs have relentlessly hectic lives and a lot more goes into running the country than what we see on the surface. Despite having great responsibility over the population, they are normal people just like us.

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An Interview with Gareth Johnson MP by Neve Wilson, Dartford Grammar School for Girls - This is Local London

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