Latest News | 9 May 2024

A champion for the region for four decades

Derby County Football Club
Share this post:

In the latest edition of Marketing Derby’s Innovate Magazine, we meet long-serving politician Pauline Latham who is preparing to retire as an MP.

During her time in the House of Commons, the MP for Mid-Derbyshire has changed legislation and been a passionate campaigner on matters at home and abroad.

Now, she is set to bring to a close a 37-year political career during which, despite her initial aversion to public speaking, she has given a voice to those she has so passionately represented in her various roles as city and county councillor, mayor and, for the last 14 years, Member of Parliament.

Pauline tells Innovate how she first became interested in politics when Derbyshire County Council threatened to close the sixth form at Ecclesbourne School where her children, Sarah, Ben and Oliver, were pupils.

The campaign was ultimately successful – and Pauline began to think about a career in politics.

She told Innovate: “I have a lot to thank Ecclesbourne for. It gave my kids a great education and I would never be doing what I do now without the school.

“It’s the only reason I am here. It was this issue that made me recognise that politics was affecting my children’s lives – so I thought I had better put my money where my mouth was.”

But to have a career in politics Pauline had to overcome her fear of public speaking – and she shares with Innovate how she managed to do just that.

After being a county councillor, Pauline went on to be a city councillor – during which time she was mayor – a role which she believes prepared her well to become an MP.

In 2010, she did just that after successfully contesting the newly created Mid Derbyshire seat.

She went on to become one of the few backbench MPs to achieve a change in the law, worked tirelessly in support of international development and been a stalwart champion for the region, fighting to help save Derby County and to persuade Great British Railways to make its headquarters in Derby.

She has championed many causes during her 14 years in the House, but perhaps her stand-out achievement has been securing a change in the law to protect children in England and Wales from child marriage and to criminalise those who seek to arrange such unions.

Pauline told Innovate: “There have been children in this country as young as 12 involved in community marriages. They were not legal but everybody in the community thought they were legal. The children involved, even if they were married to a 30-year-old man, believed it was legal. And those children had no rights.

“This has outlawed that completely. Parents or whoever organises the community marriage can go to prison for seven years now.”

To read the interview in full visit .

Related Articles...

This will close in 0 seconds