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Sunday 9 December 2007

MP Richard Ottaway Interview

Richard Ottaway, born in Bristol in 1945, was re-elected for the third time as Member of Parliament for Croydon South in 2005 representing the Conservative Party. Croydon has a population of 330,700 making it the largest Borough in London. The Croydon Constituency is divided into three sections. Croydon South covers Sanderstead, Purley, Kenley and Coulsdon.

His career in politics began when he was first elected to Parliament as the Member for Nottingham North in 1983, a position he held until 1987. He returned to parliament in 1992 as MP for Croydon South and was subsequently re-elected in 1997, 2001 and 2005. If he hadn’t become an MP he says; “I would have been a Marine Lawyer.”

Ottaway is a former Officer who served in the Royal Navy and Royal Naval Reserve for nine years. After reading Law at Bristol University, He qualified as a solicitor in 1977 specialising in maritime and commercial law with leading city firms.

Having been re-elected three times, Ottaway has proven to be popular with the residents in Croydon. When asked why he thinks he has been re-elected so often he believes that living in Croydon, he is able relate to the problems residents experience. He said, “As a local person I get to experience the problems people face at hand.”

Ottaway’s political agenda is to make Croydon South a “prosperous community” with the launch of his campaign to save post offices in the Croydon South area. He said, “It [the post] is well used and it plays an important role in attracting business to the local shops situated along there. It’s also a very valuable community asset and we are committed to doing all we can to keeping this branch open.”
Other than campaigning to save Sanderstead’s most popular post office, Richard also feels campaigns against the use of public funding to finance trade links with countries such as Iran. In August 2007 he wrote to Gordon Brown. On reasons why he wrote the letter he says, “Using public funds to promote links with Iran is an unacceptable regime. UK trade links with Iran strengthen the Iranian economy and this is supporting a Government which is producing nuclear weapons, exporting terrorism and producing weapons being used against British soldiers.”
When Richard isn’t campaigning against public funding to finance trade links and closure of post offices, he enjoys listening to Jazz and yachting

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