Ex-teacher turned MP pays tribute to man who taught him

Conservative MP uses maiden speech to thank his former teacher, a Labour campaigner, who 'helped him make it to Parliament'


A former teacher who became an MP in last month’s general election has praised the “effective” teaching his of his old history and politics teacher as being one of the reasons he made it to Parliament.

MP for Stoke-on-Trent North Jonathan Gullis was still a teacher less than a month ago and had to return to his day job at a Birmingham secondary school on the morning after his election win. 

Giving his maiden speech in the House of Commons this afternoon, he introduced himself as being a former teacher and school trade union representative as well as a "Tory" and that, as such, he was "not the typical stereotype".

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“Everyone has a teacher who changed the way we think and made a difference to our lives," the former rep for the NASUWT teaching union said. "The teacher who inspired me was Dr Simon Peaple, who was head of history and politics at my school.”

Mr Gullis said Dr Peaple was now leader of the Labour group on Tamworth Borough Council.

And he raised a laugh among his Conservative peers when he said: “His teaching was so effective that despite him campaigning for my predecessor [Labour candidate Ruth Smeeth], I was still able to make it to the green benches today.

“But in all seriousness, his dedication to the students, his extensive subject knowledge and passion for the job stuck with me and I would like to thank him for all that he did.”  

Mr Gullis also told the Commons how his mother was “off a council estate in London and got herself into a grammar school.”

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Dave Speck

Dave Speck is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @Specktator100

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