Sir Alan Duncan has been MP for Rutland and Melton for exactly 25 years. Since being first elected to Parliament in April 1992, he has seen five different Prime Ministers running the country.
Sir Alan, who has just turned 60, was awarded a diplomatic knighthood (KCMG) in 2014 and is currently Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
In this special feature, he looks back on his quarter of a century as a politician.
How would you sum up the experience of being an MP for the last 25 years?
Sir Alan Duncan: “It’s never boring and the decisions we take can make a massive difference to people’s lives. It’s relentlessly busy and most people are appreciative but some people think we can just be shouted at.”
What are your biggest achievements as an MP, on a local level in Melton, and on a national level?
Sir Alan Duncan: “The most important thing is to help individuals who have a problem. I have long since lost count of the number of problems I and my staff have solved. The whole idea of being an MP was to make laws and go to Parliament to deal with national issues. We have become more and more drawn into local problem-solving which is really what councillors are for. But if we can make a difference then of course it’s worth doing. Nationally, I helped steer through the Civil Partnership Bill and have been involved in the leadership campaigns of three successful leaders. I hope my opinions don’t just feed headlines but are treated seriously.
How has the job of an MP changed in the 25 years?
Sir Alan Duncan: “When I started there were no mobile phones and there was no internet. 24-hour news and social media have changed things dramatically. My main concern is that most MPs are just…
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