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Derbyshire Tory MP tells how childhood hardship shaped her

A Derbyshire MP has spoken of how hardship in her childhood helped her become the woman she is today.

Pauline Latham, the Conservative MP for Mid Derbyshire, says her upbringing in Lincolnshire shaped her worldview.

During her childhood she was raised by her single mother and her grandparents in difficult circumstances, before suffering further ups and downs after her mother married her stepfather.

The 73-year-old revealed the details during an interview with Gloria de Piero on GB News.

Mrs Latham said people are always surprised to hear her childhood was not as idyllic as they think, with her parents splitting up when she was born.

“My mother left the hospital and went home to her parents because she couldn’t cope with being married any longer,” she said, adding that she had to leave her elder son behind in order to do so.

“I was being brought up in a pub. And in those days, it was thought that a pub was a totally unsuitable place for a child to be brought up.

“So, I was brought up basically by my grandparents for the first few years because my mother had to go out and work, because she didn’t have a job.

“She had to go and get a job so that she could pay for me and look after me, and also pay her parents, who didn’t have an awful lot of money, to be able to live there.”

She said she spent a lot of time with her grandfather as her grandmother was running the pub, but tragedy then struck.

“But then unfortunately my grandfather was ill, and he thought he had cancer,” Mrs Latham said.

“So, at the age of 46 he decided to die by suicide, he actually hung himself in the barn, which was a very, very difficult thing.

“And even though I was only two at the time, I do remember him before that time, because I spent all my time with him. So that was a pretty difficult thing.”

Mrs Latham said her mother didn’t claim benefits and worked as a secretary to pay for her upkeep.

Her mother went on to marry her boss, but it wasn’t plain sailing from there on in.

“I’m not saying I didn’t have quite a privileged background once my mother remarried – so privileged to the point that we started off with three cars when most people didn’t have a car,” she said during the interview which aired on Monday, January 31.

“But my stepfather was not a good businessman. So, although he’d got a business, he’d lost the whole lot and he ended up almost with no money at all.

“So instead of like, most people go from rags to riches, I went from rags to riches to rags.

“As a family we didn’t have any money at the end. People do believe that I’ve had a silver spoon in my mouth, and they just don’t know the truth at all.”

You can watch the whole interview below:

Pauline Latham has been the Member of Parliament for Mid Derbyshire since 2010, was a Conservative member of Derbyshire County Council from 1987 to 1993 and was a Derby City Councillor from 1992 to 1998.

She was Mayor of Derby in 2007/08 and a governor of Ecclesbourne School in Duffield for 12 year where she was instrumental in helping the school retain its sixth form.

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