In light of the many political issue’s going on in the UK and the USA I created a very unique opportunity to speak to my local MP Bambos Charalambous about how he got from palmers green to parliament and what it takes to become a representative of a large community. Bambos is the first Greek Cypriot MP. In this interview I asked him about his journey to becoming an MP. 

Q: Growing up did you have a political idol or inspiration?

A: not so much growing up but when I was growing up the Prime minister was Margaret Thatcher and I didn’t like some of the things that she was doing so that made me sort of  want to get more involved with politics, but the more I got involved with it the more I was inspired by certain people like Nelson Mandela and the former Labour Prime minister Clement Attlee so they were the people I looked at what they did and was quite impressed by what they’d done.

Q: what was the first thing that really interested you about politics was it that Margaret Thatcher was doing things you didn't quite agree with or was there something else that really triggered it?

A: I think things that she was doing I didn't particularly like so things like the privatising lots of assets So what used to belong to everybody she sold off to private companies and I didn't like that because I thought well we've paid for it why she's selling to somebody to make money. And also there was when I was growing up there was the miners strikes when the miners went on strike and they were on strike for over a year and she was quite mean to them I think that's what particularly caught my attention at the time.

Q: As you are a Greek Cypriot and  there is such a large Greek Cypriot community in London why do you feel it has taken so long for a Cypriot MP to be elected?  

A: I think with anything it's about getting involved and as many people in the Cypriot  community don't get involved in politics it's much harder to get anybody to position authorities so I encourage anybody to get involved and from all backgrounds.

Q: Did your school have an influence on your politics?

A: Not so much, my school friends used to tease me and call me commy but the teachers encouraged me to read lots of different things where I was exposed to lots of different ideas.

Q: What was the hardest part of becoming an MP?

A: I think it's because it's very competitive so when I was trying to get selected first time I went to six different places for them to choose me and eventually I got chosen in a place called Epping Forest so I was the candidate there in 2005 and I really enjoyed it, really thank the people who chose me and so I think getting chosen was the hard thing, then after I got selected in 2010 in Enfield Southgate it took me 3 goes to get elected so I think perseverance is very important.

Q: what would you like todays youth to take away from your experiences?

A: I think if they I believe in something and are very passionate they should keep campaigning for it because only if you keep trying will you actually change something I would encourage them to get involved in whatever it is they are interested in or whatever it is they want to follow, be persistent get advice from people, ask people, you’d sometimes be amazed at the people that will be willing to help and just keep going and don't give up.

This was a fascinating insight on the struggles and rewards being an MP can offer. I learned lots about perseverance and never giving up. Bambos also taught me that some of the things that influence peoples ideologies are very commonplace such as books or school friends and yet can have a huge impact on who they are as a person.  “Only if you keep trying will you actually change something ”-Bambos Charalambous