INTERVIEW: High Peak MP Ruth George on her first month in parliament and why family time is important

MP Ruth George with her husband Mark and children Sam, 25, Becky, 22, Matty 10 and Danny eight.
MP Ruth George with her husband Mark and children Sam, 25, Becky, 22, Matty 10 and Danny eight.

It has been a whirlwind few weeks for High Peak’s new Member of Parliament Ruth George.

The Labour MP was elected in June and since then she has given up her job as a trade union representative in Manchester, and is splitting her time between her home town of Whaley Bridge and Westminster.

Ruth George is the new Labour MP for High Peak

Ruth George is the new Labour MP for High Peak

The 47-year-old, who has a degree in politics and history, said: “I have always been so passionate about helping people and fighting for the rights of workers, and when the snap election was announced and the Labour Party didn’t have a candidate it seemed the right time to put myself forward.”

The mother-of-four worked for Usdaw for two decades, and was involved with Tom Levitt’s election campaign in 1997.

But she said: “My life isn’t all politics. Family time is so important as I have four children.

“When my daughter, Becky, now 22, was at the age of seven I nursed her for a year while she fought cancer, and last year she graduated from university.

“She has overcome so much, including dyslexia, that it was such an amazingly proud moment for me.”

With two young boys both in primary school, her days off are usually spent on day trips and spending time outside.

“We do a lot of walking,” she said, “on a nice day we sometimes catch a train to Buxton with a picnic, then hike back which for my sons’ little legs is an achievement.”

When Ruth is not at work she also enjoys spending time visiting friends and family.

Continuing her love of the, outdoors Ruth recalled when she and her husband, Mark, went on a holiday of a lifetime to Australia, visiting Sydney and Tasmania.

She said: “Mark hadn’t seen his brother for ten years and I had never been over, so we went and had a wonderful time.

“In Tasmania the Orienteering World Cup was taking place and we had a go at some of the easier courses and we hiked up Cradle Mountain.”

Now with an increasingly busy schedule, Sundays have become family time.

Last weekend it was her youngest son’s eighth birthday, and Ruth relaxed and organised a children’s party.

Ruth George’s new life as an MP

Working in Usdaw for 20 years, Ruth spent her time campaigning and lobbying other MPs and said she knew some of the MPs before she was elected to sit in the House of Commons.

She said: “I have always liked making politics help people in a practical way and this feels like the next step.”

The new MP’s social calendar is already filling up, and on Friday she and Mark attended the opening night of Macbeth at the Buxton International Festival.

Ruth said: “There are so many wonderful groups, events and activities going on all across the High Peak, and I want to get out and meet as many people as possible.”

Ruth recently met with Glossop firefighters, taking her two youngest children along with her.

She said: “I’ll be bringing my family along to as many events as I can so we can spend time together, but please always say hello if you see me out and about anywhere.”