James O'Brien callers heap praise on MPs for service to communities

18 October 2021, 13:02

By Seán Hickey

LBC listeners phoned in to commend their constituency representatives for the 'quiet work' they do for the public.

In the wake of the fatal stabbing of Sir David Amess, James O'Brien reflected on the overwhelming praise the Tory MP received over the weekend from constituents and colleagues alike.

He decided to dedicate an hour of his show to give listeners the opportunity to thank their MPs for the work they do behind the scenes, often going unnoticed by the public at large.

Read more: Sir David Amess: Suspect's father 'is ex-adviser to Somali prime minister'

Andrew phoned in first, and moved James and listeners alike with his story.

The caller explained that his daughter passed away during the pandemic which left him with a sense of aimlessness. For some reason, he explained that he sought out his MP for advice.

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He explained that despite having a complete political divergence from his local MP Mike Penning, he found himself bonding with the human being, initially over a shared love for Tottenham Hotspur.

The caller then explained that the MP's assistant's family owned the local Indian takeaway and a few days after he opened up to Mr Penning, the assistant arrived at his door with "enough Indian takeaway to last us for three days straight."

"This guy by himself changed the way I look at politicians." Andrew said, joking that he "really wanted to dislike" the MP because of his politics but admitted that he'd "go through a wall for him."

Pat told James O'Brien she was "very appreciative" of the work that James Brokenshire did for her family. She explained that the Home Office initially refused her two brothers entry into the country from Jamaica for her mother's funeral.

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The caller told James O'Brien she contacted the late Conservative MP to ask for help and he almost immediately sorted the issue, with her two brothers arriving just in time for the funeral.

The caller went on to note that Mr Brokenshire helped out a second time with a similar issue, helping to get another relative to the UK from Jamaica.

Tim told James O'Brien that during the lockdown, he filled out some benefits forms incorrectly which left him on the brink of being plunged into poverty.

Read more: Maajid Nawaz: Vetting voters for MP meetings 'further alienates' Brits

The caller explained that once he contacted his MP Wes Streeting, the situation was quickly resolved and things went back to normal.

Mickey shared her experience of being diagnosed with ADHD but being offered little help to deal with it, leaving her with sleepless nights.

She decided to contact Emily Thornberry MP to explain the issue in the hope of being looked after. The caller explained her surprise at the level of personalisation in the response from her MP.

Mickey then told James O'Brien that she later was contacted for an appointment to address her ADHD, which she put down to her contacting Emily Thornberry.

She concluded by telling LBC that her experience empowered her to such an extent that she now works with ADHD sufferers.

A disabled caller told James O'Brien that she had faced ableist discrimination outside a supermarket, receiving abuse from a traffic warden and a parking fine.

She contacted her MP, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who she said quickly resolved the issue.

Michael Gove's constituent also phoned in to commend the work of the Levelling Up Secretary in her locality, despite admitting a vehement opposition to his politics.

Emma explained to James that her daughter is an assistant to Labour MP Stella Creasy and praised the "hard-working" attitude of the MP. The caller explained that her daughter and Ms Creasy worked "tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure the wellbeing of her constituents and couldn't praise them enough

Read more: Lisa Nandy: 'I don't feel particularly safe doing the job'

The final caller to James was Laura who commended her MP Diane Abbott for her service to Stoke Newington throughout the years.

She explained that debtors insisted that money was owed during the pandemic, which culminated in a visit from bailiffs. The caller contacted Ms Abbott and on the same day the agents got in touch to say there was a mistake.

Listen to the hour where James O'Brien took calls from grateful constituents on Global Player.

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