Two Harris Guides and their leader bumped into their own MP, Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus MacNeil last week (Wednesday October 31st) while they were visiting the House of Lords as part of a continuing celebration of the role of women in public life.
Rangers Catherine MacDonald from Tarbert (left) and Kelly MacKay from Cliasmol (right) joined Harris Girlguiding leader Matilda Lomas-Mackenzie on the terrace outside Westminster for a photo-op with their MP as part of an unforgettable day out in London, in celebration of 60 years of women as peers and during UK Parliament Week, which helps to get young people involved with democracy.
Each of the girls shadowed a peer to gain an insight into the working life of a Lady or Baroness. Catherine MacDonald, aged 16, was mentored by Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town. She said: “I got into Prime Minister’s Questions which was very interesting and helped me understand more of what happens in Parliament”.
Kelly MacKay, 17, was hosted by Baroness Brinton and then tackled Angus Brendan MacNeil MP on public transport in the islands, an issue she believes needs improving, particularly for young people. The Guides also spoke of their disappointment that there are no women as Western Isles councillors. Mr MacNeil agreed that the islands are missing out because of this lack of representation.
Mr MacNeil said: “I’m pleased that the thriving Girlguiding Harris unit is taking part in events this month. This year also marks the centenary year of when the first women got the vote.
"Other centenaries coming up this year include the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act which gave women over 21 the right to stand for election as an MP (21st November) and the 1918 General Election when women over 30 and all men over 21 voted for the first time (14th December).”
(This article has been updated since first being published to clarify that the meeting with the MP was by chance)