By Patricia Devlin
FRANCIE Molloy has already made his first trip to Westminster since being elected Mid-Ulster’s Member of Parliament - and he says he doesn’t need to sit in the chamber to make a difference in the constituency.
Speaking to the MAIL ahead of his first visit as an MP, Mr Molloy says that while he won’t be voting in the House of Commons chamber on issues affecting the province, he would be lobbying in Westminster.
“Not being present in the chamber does not mean I cannot lobby in Westminster,” he said.
“Much of the work that I will be doing as MP can be carried out in the rooms around the chamber and the fact of the matter is that votes made by politicians from here in Westminster make little difference. We just have to look at welfare reform.”
“Having people on the ground I feel is more important.
“Those people on the ground are working for the people. I have a big emphasis on constituency work, and I like doing constituency work.”
Mr Molloy was selected to contest the Mid-Ulster by-election by his party after Sinn Fein colleague Martin McGuinness resigned.
The deputy first minister had held the seat for for 15 years.
“I am very humbled to be Mid-Ulster’s newest MP and I have big footsteps to follow in but what is good about Martin still being involved in Mid-Ulster is that we can work together in the constituency it actually means that Mid-Ulster has an extra person working for them and we have an extra person on the ground.”
Top of the new Mid-Ulster MP’s agenda is not only planning but creating jobs for young people in the constituency area.
“What I want to see happen is an engineering training college set up for young people in Mid-Ulster, not just a training college but a centre of excellence. Jobs are being created in engineering throughout the province and Mid-Ulster can benefit from that.”