Gillian Merron MP talks at the University

Gillian Merron
Lincoln's MP, Gillian Merron | Photo: Samuel Cox

Local MP Gillian Merron visited the University today to take questions from students; all diverse and covering a lot of issues affecting students today. Gillian, the Labour MP for Lincoln since 1997, knows how hard it is for women to make it in politics. Questions put to her were centered on exploring the representation of women in politics.

‘Could it be better’ a student asked, to which she simply replied ‘yes’ and added that we are seeing a bigger change in parliament than ever before. Since the pioneering times of Blair’s babes there have been talks of women only short lists, increases in seats in local government and a bigger change on the backbench.

“They simply need others to know that they will be taken seriously. However if it advantages women it will also advantage men.”

Another area that was discussed was tuition fees and higher education. Since 1997 the number of students that have gone into higher education has risen by 250,000 and funding has risen by a fifth. This said, increasing numbers are one thing but as far as the spread goes in terms of the population Gillian thinks it needs to be developed.

Repayment of loans is a worry for all students when they graduate from university. On the old system of repayment for student finance one would have to earn over £15,000 to be start repaying.

On the newer one it may be increased to £18,000 and students will be looking at paying something in the region of £1-2 per week to repay it. Gillian added; “I find it hard to say that that is an unreasonable amount of money.”

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