Interview with an MP

The Parliamentary Network Secretariat had a chance to sit down with recently re-elected MP from the UK, Jeremy Lefroy. He was also re-elected as the Chair of the PN as a leader and staunch supporter of its objectives and coming work plan for the next two years. We were able to have a candid moment with him, asking questions about what he sees for the Network in the future, as well understanding him on a more personal level.

Q: Why is the Network important and what do you see for the PN in the next two years?
 
A: The PN has a number of purposes. The first is to ensure that MPs are informed on the actions of the World Bank and IMF globally, but also regionally and nationally. It is vital that MPs know what is going on regarding matters which impact their constituents. Secondly, it is important that the World Bank and IMF have the opportunity to listen to MPs’ concerns and what we see as the vital issues. For many of us, two of the most important issues are jobs and livelihoods for our constituents as well as healthcare. Poor health is one of the main determinants of inequality in our global society.
 
Q: What is the benefit and value that the World Bank and IMF bring to a donor country?
 
A: Well, you say a donor country, but let’s not forget that the United Kingdom once was borrowing money from the IMF, and this is the point I would make: whether a donor or recipient, everyone is interested in having global economic stability and improving the lives of the poorest people globally. For me, it is absolutely essential that we work very closely with the World Bank and IMF. We are all part of one global community and interdependent, relying on each other to work together for the good of each other.

Q: When did your engagement begin with the Network and why did you continue to engage?
 
A: I began about two years ago, and I saw the need to work much more closely in a way that is both supportive and critical. We need to make sure that the work which is done by the World Bank and IMF is more thoroughly understood, particularly by parliamentarians, who are the representatives of the people.

Q: Besides jobs, livelihoods, and healthcare, are there any other particular thematic issues of your interest as we measure the MDGs and enter into the SDGs?
 
A: As a thread running through all of these themes would be the issues of gender, environmental sustainability, and education. These are areas that both I and our members are concerned about. I most certainly support the twin-goals by the World Bank. We as MPs need to keep our minds focused on these themes and threads in order to make a positive difference for our constituents.
 
Q: Is there a link to be made between your local constituency and international development?

A: Sometimes it is very difficult to make it clear. The Ebola crisis made it clear to my constituents that we live in a very interdependent place. The problems faced by one society in the world can have a profound impact on other societies, whether through disease, instability, mass migration, or economic uncertainty. Personally, I believe there is a moral imperative for people to work together and support each other.
 
Q: When you are not legislating, what are some things that you would like the Parliamentary Network to know about you?
 
 A: I enjoy sports of all kinds. I still play cricket with my colleagues in the Parliament. I enjoy classical music very much and play the piano and oboe. I also enjoy writing music when I have time, but most importantly, I enjoy spending time with my family.

Founded in 2000, the Parliamentary Network is an independent, non-governmental organization that provides a platform for Parliamentarians from over 140 countries to advocate for increased accountability and transparency in development cooperation. Jeremy Lefroy is the current Chair of the Parliamentary Network.

 

The Network – via its international secretariat, regional chapters and country chapters – reaches over 1000 Parliamentarians in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. It strives to increase transparency and accountability in the development cooperation process by fostering the oversight role of parliaments and civil society. The Network has a specific focus on multilateral aid and a sub-focus on the work and modus operandi of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the world’s largest multilateral funders.

 

It provides a platform for MPs and civil society to hold to account their own governments, as well as International Financial Institutions (IFIs), for development outcomes.

Membership is free of charge and open to elected parliamentarians who currently hold a mandate. As a member, you will receive The Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s policy materials, including the quarterly Network Review publication and the Parliamentarians and Development series.

You will also be eligible to attend the Annual Conference and participate in discussions with senior World Bank and IMF leadership. You can also be invited to take part in the Parliamentarians in the Field country visit programme.
In addition, the The Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund often invites partner organizations to join its activities.
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