Kenilworth MP's Column: Cubbington resident visits parliament weeks after 110th birthday

By James Smith

8th Dec 2023 | Opinion

John Farrington got the chance to meet Rishi Sunak at No 10 last week (image via Sir Jeremy Wright's office)
John Farrington got the chance to meet Rishi Sunak at No 10 last week (image via Sir Jeremy Wright's office)

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to meet John Farrington, a resident of Cubbington Mill Care Home, on his 110th birthday.

He worked at the Ford factory in Leamington for 40 years and drove for 88 years, only giving up his licence at 105.

Despite never taking a test, he has never had an accident either.

He is a remarkable man and a joy to be around and, when I met him, we talked about politics, in which he maintains a keen interest, and about a possible visit to parliament.

Last week we were able to make that visit happen.

When John arrived at parliament last Wednesday, I arranged for him to meet the Speaker, Lindsay Hoyle, in Speaker's House.

After he met with the Speaker, John and his two carers, Laura Russell and Laura Renalson, went into the Gallery, where he finally achieved a long-held ambition of attending Prime Minister's Questions, where I was able to mention John's visit and ask the Prime Minister to meet him too.

After PMQs, John enjoyed lunch at Terrace Restaurant, enjoying the view of the Thames River and a quick stop at the gift shop.

John finished the day with his visit to Number 10, where he got to sit at the cabinet table in the Cabinet Room.

The Prime Minister came in for a chat and discussed John's love of Ford vehicles and ABBA.

I am very grateful to all in parliament and at No 10 who made all this happen.

I know John had a great experience and I think all those who met him enjoyed having access to John's very considerable experience.

Being with John when he met the 23rd person to hold the office of Prime Minister during his lifetime was a privilege and a good way of putting politics into perspective.


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