MP for Mid Worcestershire.
Nigel Huddleston is a member of Parliament for Mid Worcestershire elected in May 2015. He lives in Badsey, Worcestershire, with his wife Melissa and two children Tyler & Mackenzie.
Nigel was born and raised in Lincolnshire and attended the Robert Pattison Comprehensive School in North Hykeham before going on to study politics and economics at Oxford University.
Next, he moved to London to work for Arthur Andersen as a management consultant before going on to study for a Masters in business administration at the Anderson School at UCLA in the USA.
Nigel married his American wife, Melissa, and moved back to the UK in 2006 where he worked for Deloitte before joining Google as Industry Head of Travel in 2011.
In the 2010 General Election, he stood to contest the Luton South seat and achieved a 4.6% swing from Labour to Conservative. He then moved to Mid Worcestershire upon selection in November 2013 and won the seat with a majority of 20,532.
Every morning, the newspapers bombard us with stories of death, destruction, and agitation. On a rare occasion, we read the news that brings optimism and hope. In a bid to get to know my local MP and find some happiness and good energy, I caught up with Nigel, the gentleman with a huge smile.
What was your favourite subject in school and what did you want to be when you grew up?
I’ve always loved history for as long as I can remember, closely followed by geography. During my early days at school, I wanted to be a fireman or a policeman but would constantly change my mind. I never expected to be an MP even though I had a keen interest in politics.
If you were going to write a book, what would you call it and what would it be about?
Interestingly many years ago I wrote both a book and a screenplay about the conquest of South America, it’s not published but I did have it auctioned to be made into a film
What’s one of the scariest things you’ve ever done?
I’ve done some pretty scary white water rafting in New Zealand and in the US.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
It has to be going to university, this was life changing for me. I was the first one from my family to go to university and the first person from my school to go to Oxford.
Getting elected last year was also pretty exciting too.
How did you get into politics?
Even as a teenager I was really into politics especially when I was doing economics at O & A level, but I didn’t become active until I started university. Whilst at university I joined the political debating society at Oxford, the Oxford union which was fascinating. I then joined the conservative party where I did lots of things like organising social events as well as getting involved in campaigning. It was here I had the opportunity to meet cabinet members which was back in the late 80’s, the Thatcher era and a very interesting time in politics.
What do you do for fun, both with your family and by yourself?
I love the outdoors, in fact, we all do in our family, certainly, when we lived in California it was easier than here in the UK. We like to go for long walks, explore castles and National Trust properties. Both my son and daughter follow in my footsteps with their interest in history which means we all get to enjoy the outdoors as a family together.
Do you like travelling?
Yes, I’ve been lucky enough to have a job that has enabled me to travel a lot. Living and working in the states was obviously great. My wife and I, before we had our children took every opportunity to travel all over Africa, South America and New Zealand. We don’t travel as much as we would like to now, but as my in-laws live in America we visit them as frequently as we can.
Do you like to plan things out in detail or be spontaneous?
A bit of both really, for things like holidays I do like to plan so we know when and where we are going. But for individual day activities, I do like a bit of spontaneity. I do plan a lot more than my wife, though.
If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go?
There are places I’ve absolutely loved and my wife and I have had many great holidays. But somewhere I have never been and would love to go is Antartica, just seeing a completely different environment would be very interesting. I know it’s not top of everybody’s tour list but I think it would be absolutely fantastic to visit the coldest place on earth.
Who are some people you’d like to meet someday?
I’ve only ever met the royal family from a distance so it would be great to meet the Queen. There are also some fascinating political figures I’d love to talk too, such as Hilary Clinton and Angela Merkel.
If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet?
As I’m fascinated with history, to meet someone like Henry VIII would be amazing. He’s probably not the most pleasant of characters, but a huge historical figure none the less.
What are some of your major goals in life?
The key thing is to be a good father and husband. I would just like to make a difference at some point. In parliament, you have the opportunity to try and make things better for those that are less fortunate than yourself, and you can do so from a large variety of things whether they be pretty big deals or pretty small deals, they all matter.
If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try?
Oh, I have to say Prime minister, but only for a day with it being such an enormous responsibility. A day would suit me fine.
What’s the best decision you ever made?
Asking my wife to marry me and having children.
What do you think we could do to best improve the education system?
We have got to have good motivating teachers and we do have many many good teachers. I think a highly motivated inspirational teacher is key to everything, I’ve been fortunate and lucky that I have had them. We have lots of good ones in Worcestershire and they really do make a difference, so we have got to look after the teachers.
But also we need good schools with good sports facilities, the health side of education is also very important. This, of course, means investing and spending the right amount.
What do you think is one of the most undervalued professions right now?
I’d say teaching! A good teacher can change somebody’s life and they are not always regarded or respected.
How would you explain your basic life philosophy?
Take every opportunity that comes along.
How do you see the future now we are coming out of the EU?
I think we need to be optimistic, we are a great trading country and we will continue to be so. It wasn’t the result that I wanted but we have to absolutely make the best of it, and we will. We are a wealthy country and we will come to some good decent arrangements with the world. I’m fairly confident about that. I think it is probably good to recognise that some of the benefits of Brexit will take quite a while to come through and that we are not going to immediately have big changes, it will be more of a slow transition, but we need to be Optimistic.
As Theresa May is now the new leader of the Conservative Party and our new Prime Minister – the second female Prime Minister in our nation’s history, could you share your thoughts about what she could contribute to British politics and society in general?
I think it is great that with Theresa May we have our second female Prime Minister – especially when so many countries such as the USA have still not had one female political leader. Moreover, Theresa May is an incredibly talented lady who exudes competence. In her first few speeches she has also set a very positive and inclusive tone for her Prime Ministership with a strong focus on social justice and social reform which I completely support.