Schools’ Ian Gow Cup in memory of popular MP

Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell outside Houses of Parliament SUS-150722-141636001
Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell outside Houses of Parliament SUS-150722-141636001

Caroline Ansell

To mark the occasion, I am launching the Ian Gow Cup, a public speaking competition for schools, in his name.

Ian Gow is still remembered with great fondness and admiration here at home as well as in Westminster.

On the campaign trail, his name was often raised and always, people commented on his great warmth, personality and integrity.

As a schoolgirl myself in the 80’s I was once presented an award by the man himself, and I am now seeking to ensure that his service to public life and his tragic loss are remembered by the next generation in Eastbourne and Willingdon.

Ian was well renowned for his public speaking ability, his debating abilities in the House of Commons were legendary.

He was also, notably the first MP to be televised making a speech in Parliament when the cameras were allowed in the Chamber for the first time in the late 1980’s.

Ian Gow was a man of deep conviction and had the courage of these convictions.

Just months before he lost his life he talked of the need to never give up in the face of terror.

That message still rings true today as the World grapples with the threat of ISIS.

For our part, we must never forget the tremendous sacrifice men and women have made across the years in the name of our liberty. Ian Gow is one such man.

I have invited every local secondary school to field a speaking team.

The winning team I will host in Parliament. It is my hope that this will become an annual schools event and something the whole town will get behind.

It will be an opportunity for the next generation to hone their skills and as Ian was a very great speaker, I think he would be pleased.

There is a plaque in the House of Commons recognising his contribution, and I have requested that a meeting and conference room in Portcullis House should also bear his name, alongside such Parliamentary greats as Margaret Thatcher, Betty Boothroyd and Harold Macmillan.

The Speaker of the House of Commons is currently considering this proposal.