Who is your favourite government minister and why?
Angie Lawrence – Single mother
My favourite minister is Gordon Brown. As chancellor he has gone some way to redressing the balance of finances between rich and poor. I also admire his investment in schools and his focus on the need to educate young people outside school as well as in it. He recognises children as valuable people in our society and he wants the best for them.
Len Smith – Gypsy activist
When Tony McNulty was with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister we had several meetings with him with regard to law reform for gypsies and travellers. Much more than any other government minister, I found him frank and honest, and open to argument to a very refreshing degree. With him I felt that we progressed our cause considerably.
Jaya Kathrecha – Carer
Culture secretary Tessa Jowell because she’s community-oriented. She meets ordinary people, talks to them more than others do. I was in a meeting with one of the health ministers recently about the Mental Health Bill and I felt that they were only pretending to listen. Ministers should reach out to people, make them feel that their views count.
Eve Rank -Inspired Services
Disabled people’s minister Anne McGuire gets my vote. She’s straight to the point, doesn’t muck you around and is easy to understand. I am pleased with what she has done so far, setting up the Office for Disability Issues and Network 2025, although it remains to be seen whether people with learning difficulties will be properly included in all this work.