How long have you been an MP?
Nearly 18 years
What do most enjoy about representing the people?
Occasionally securing justice for a constituent against all the odds.
How do you feel you as an MP has benefited our residents?
Helping in campaigns for new schools, new health facilities, and new community centres – like the Weir Link.
What does community mean to you?
Mutual aid – the basis of my personal politics.
Keith, We understand you are due to retire at the next General Election, how would you most like to be remembered once you have retired?
As an advocate for the poor and powerless.
What are your plans once you retire?
What do you mean “retire”? I can’t keep up with all the jobs people want me to do.
How do you think your constituency has changed over the years?
Definitely for the better, and partly because there are more voluntary groups of residents working for the common good.
What advice would you give to the person who becomes our MP?
Never forget the folk who put you there!
Can you tell us what other roles you have had during the time you have been an MP?
I have been a transport minister, a housing and planning minister, minister for London (twice!), a whip, and Tony Blair’s parliamentary private secretary.
Please describe in which ways you work directly with WERA?
By visiting the estate and maintaining contact with WERA officers. I expect to continue the link in my new job as Chair of Lambeth Living.
If you could change one thing about this country what would it be?
Put an end to graffiti which is a crime. Prosecute Banksy!
What is your most memorable moment in your role?
Meeting Nelson Mandela at the Brixton Rec.
Who is the most influential person you have ever met and why?
Probably President Clinton when he visited the Labour Party Annual Conference.
What more do you think can be done to improve communities?
You can never have enough people participating, and money.
Where would you most like to visit in the world?
I would like to return to India, my most vivid travel experience ever.
What could you most not leave home without?
My Oystercard (soon to be my Freedom Pass!)
What advice as an experienced member of parliament would you give to our residents about improving their community?
Elect good leaders.
What is your favourite aspect of Lambeth and why?
I think the kids in our Lambeth schools are marvellous. They give me hope for the future.
Do you feel you have accomplished all you have set out to do in the time you have been an MP?
Probably not, but I feel immensely privileged as a person from a very modest working class background to have done what I have done.
How and when should residents contact you?
After I retire as MP, I can be contacted at Lambeth Living, as Chair of the Board (firstname.lastname@example.org)