From anonymity to centre stage ... and death threats

Part Two of David Miller's interview with Dewsbury and Mirfield’s newly-installed Labour MP...


PAULA Sherriff has had a whirlwind introduction to life as an MP since last month’s election.

Within hours she was getting calls from constituents about various issues – and then major Ravensthorpe employer Kozee Sleep went bust.

Miss Sherriff was also thrust into the national spotlight when she became one of the main figures in the wake of the suicide bomb outrage committed by Dewsbury teenager Talha Asmal in Iraq.

She even received death threats – leading to the arrest of a man from Nottingham.

Speaking before the reported death of 17-year-old Asmal, Miss Sherriff said she had had little time to savour her election victory.

She said of the May 7 poll: “It wasn’t until Friday morning that the result came through.

“Then I went to the local count to support councillor colleagues, many of whom had worked incredibly hard for me.”

In between, she quit her job at Virgin Care and started getting calls from residents about casework.

She added: “And I had to be in London by Monday morning. It was a case of get my stuff together, get some sleep and then you don’t stop.

“I also had to get my head around being an MP. I’ve gone from relative anonimity to being very much in the public eye.”

Miss Sherriff, 40, left the door open to a future shadow ministerial post and said: “Never say never. You don’t know what might happen in a few years’ time. But for the foreseeable future, this is quite enough.

“What I want is to be known as is one of the hardest-working constituency MPs.

“It won’t happen overnight but hopefully people will see they’ve got an MP who’s working really hard for them.”

She also repeated a vow made in the campaign when former Tory MP Simon Reevell’s continuing work as a barrister came under scrutiny.

Miss Sherriff said: “I will be a full-time MP and that will never change.

“I said that right from the start. I won’t do any other work and my position won't change.”

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