News Release

MP for Coventry Visits with Local Youth

More than 80 youth and young adults, all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, attended a meeting in Coventry where the main speaker was the Honourable Jim Cunningham MP, Coventry South.

The meeting began with some comments from Keith Penfold, the local area leader of the Church, who explained that the Church recognises that the freedom to vote, and to be part of the democratic process is vital to society, and that we should take a real interest in the political process and the laws enacted on behalf of the people. He added, “The Church has always encouraged its members to be involved in politics.  In the 1840’s Joseph Smith stood for President of the United States and in 2012, Mitt Romney, a member of the Church, was defeated by Barrack Obama.”

Mr Cunningham, a Scot by birth, explained how he came to live in Coventry and how he obtained his first job at Rolls Royce. He added that whilst he was an employee of Rolls Royce he become a Shop Steward and then Senior Shop Steward. He went on to explain how serving as a Councillor on Coventry City Council ultimately gave him the opportunity to lead the Council for a season.

Having been approached by the Labour Party to stand for election as a Member of Parliament, Mr Cunningham became a reluctant MP, but has felt it a privilege to represent the people of Coventry South for more than 20 years. He maintains close ties with the people in the area by holding around six surgeries each month where constituents can talk to him about the problems that they face, and seek help and guidance from him. Commenting about the day to day activities of a Member of Parliament he said, “As an MP you need to exercise the wisdom of Solomon”.

The main part of the evening was a question and answer session and the questions asked covered a wide range of topics. Chris Rafferty, aged 22 commented on the event as a whole said, “I enjoyed the meeting and what Mr Cunningham said has reshaped how I feel about politicians and what they do. I was impressed with the honesty shown by Mr Cunningham who said that he didn’t have all of the answers.”

Commenting about the success of the evening, Keith Penfold said, “This was a great evening, it gave our young people the opportunity to find out more about the role of an MP and hear some first hand, honest views on important topical issues. I hope that we can have more meetings like this in the future.”

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