MP Lynne Featherstone is proposing a motion on changing guidelines for mobile phone masts near schools

ELECTION: Surprise victory ruffles feathers

13 May 2005

MP Lynne Featherstone has pledged to hit the ground running in her first days in parliament.

Ms Featherstone, who was sworn in on Thursday, is proposing an early day motion on changing guidelines for mobile phone masts near schools.

She said: "I am going to be exactly the same as I have been for the last ten years to deliver the sorts of things that I have campaigned on nationally and locally. My first priority is to represent the people of Hornsey and Wood Green and I will work in the same way I have always done.

"The first thing I am looking to ask for is a ten-year plan from Haringey Council for school places. I am not happy with the planning and fiascos like St James's school in Muswell Hill where mistakes led to them not being given extra places.

"The government was going on about choice in schools. In Hornsey and Wood Green parents have been putting down three choices and 140 are without a place."

After weeks of fervent campaigning, it wasn't until 11.30pm last Thursday that the Lib Dems were told a shock win was on the cards. After the count Ms Featherstone celebrated with champagne at her Highgate home with around 60 supporters. And the new MP is also in line to collect a second time having had a substantial bet on herself to win the seat.

On Sunday party leader Charles Kennedy called her to congratulate her and his wife Sarah, an old friend, also applauded her victory.

In her acceptance speech on the night Ms Featherstone said: "The voters of Hornsey and Wood Green made their voice heard with this fantastic result. They have sent shock waves through the Labour government. This seat had previously been a safe seat for Labour.

"The people have said no it's not acceptable to wage an illegal war on a false premise, it's not acceptable to take away civil liberties, it is not acceptable to play fast and loose with the trust of the British people."

Ms Featherstone is a member of the London Assembly but she told Broadway she didn't want to quit until she had tied up a few loose ends. "I want to secure extra beat officers for Highgate and complete my brief to look at parking enforcement in London," she said.

She will also continue as a councillor for Muswell Hill until local elections are called next year.



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