Wycombe High Meets … Councillor Khalil Ahmed
In a continuation of Wycombe High’s new interview series, Labour MP Candidate for Wycombe in the 2019 General Election Councillor Khalil Ahmed was quizzed by Year 13 Politics students.
The interview was hosted by the students themselves who took it in turns to speak to Councillor Ahmed. His Conservative counterpart Mr Steve Baker was interviewed a fortnight ago, the details of which can be read here: https://www.whs.bucks.sch.uk/media/news/article/910/Wycombe-High-Meets-Steve-Baker-MP
The interview began with the issue that we are all talking about at the moment: the Covid-19 pandemic. When asked whether he thought that the Labour party would have tackled the pandemic differently, he said that he thought that it was likely that they would have done. Next the conversation concerned the Labour party itself, more specifically the appointment of their new leader – Sir Keir Starmer – who replaced Jeremy Corbyn at the beginning of April this year. Whilst Councillor Ahmed personally voted for Rebecca Long-Bailey in the election, he said that he thought that Mr. Starmer was a good choice for the Labour party. He commented that Labour’s increase in popularity was likely due to this appointment and said that he is fully supportive of Mr Starmer, and praised him for his actions in response to the pandemic in the last few months.
Councillor Ahmed was also asked about his views on one of Mr. Starmer’s recent speeches in which he spoke a lot about patriotism. Councilor Ahmed responded in defense of Mr. Starmer, saying that patriotism is not a negative thing, and said that he felt that the differences in the response to the coronavirus in the four nations has led to a divided country and public confusion.
The interview then became more personal, as Councillor Ahmed was asked why he did not manage to secure the Wycombe seat in the 2019 General Election. To this he argued that Labour had done all they could have in that election, and were fairly successful since they managed to decrease the Conservative Party’s majority significantly. Wycombe used to be a safe seat, but Councillor Ahmed observed that in the last election, his number of votes managed to turn Wycombe into a key marginal seat, that could be within reach at the next election.
He was then asked what he would do if he were to become Wycombe’s MP, to which Councillor Ahmed responded with several local reforms, including creating a Town Council and investing more money in the local health service.
To end, Councillor Ahmed named his father as his inspiration, proudly praising his father’s courage in coming to the UK and thanking him for giving him the best educational opportunities. Councillor Ahmed then appealed to the class, encouraging them to get involved in local political parties and inviting them to a local Labour Zoom call to help the students have a say in their community.
It was great to have the opportunity to talk to Councillor Ahmed, and it was especially interesting to compare to the previous interview with Mr Baker. It is really insightful to hear the views of local politicians on national and local topics, and hopefully the school will have another chance to do this in Wycombe High’s next Zoom call! A Year 12 class will be joined by Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Wycombe Toni Brodelle.
Cordelia Thompson, News Crew, Year 12