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  The MiP files: Steve's Olympic dream!
Updated 21 January 2003, 11.53

The world of Westminster is back in full swing - and our Man in Parliament is on the case, digging up the stories that matter.

Check out his exclusive info and secret goss every Tuesday!

You can also ask him questions and get him to track down your MP. Go to the bottom of the page for how.

It's not often you come across a gold medal winner in Westminster.

So there was excitement the other day when Sir Steve Redgrave came to town.

He's the rower who, as I'm sure you know, has won no less than FIVE gold medals at the Olympics. I bet a few MPs got their autograph books out.

Sir Steve was here to try to persuade politicians to support an idea to bid for the Olympic games to be held in London in 2012.

Lots of other cities around the world - including New York and Paris - are also in the running.

Tony Blair and his top team are to decide whether to support the London idea before the end of the month.

Sir Steve thinks having the Olympics in London would be a brilliant idea - and give people in the UK a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the world's top sports stars.

He also reckons it would improve life for people in the East End of London where the event would be held.

But some of the politicians seem less keen - they think it will be far too expensive and that the money could be spent on more important things.

Watch out for the big decision!

Thanks for all your e-mails about whether you should be able to vote when you are 16.

At the moment you have to wait until you reach the age of 18.

And I think I can safely say that most of you think that's unfair!

In fact, Christopher, 14, from Reigate, thinks he should be able vote NOW!

"We have adult minds and it's annoying that we are treated like we are dumb," he tells me.

Melissa, 12, from Southampton, would agree with that.

"I think, that we should be able to vote at the age of 13 or 14 because most of us are responsible enough by then," she says.

Most of you felt the same way - thanks to everyone who sent in their views.

Stu, nine, from Market Rasen, asks how many seats there are in the House of Commons.

Well Stu, there are 659 members of the House of Commons - but not enough seats to go round!

Instead, the MPs squash on to green leather benches, or if there isn't any room, they stand up or sit on the stairs.

But politicians who've been around for a while always sit in the same spot - and no-one dares trying to make them budge!

Each week our MiP will give you the chance to have your MP identified.

Just send us your name and postcode using the boxes at the bottom and he'll do the rest.

This week, Hermione, 12, from Oxford gets her MP identified.

Evan Harris
Where are you from?
Sheffield, then Liverpool
Liberal Democrat
School nickname:
The Ev, The Mule and a few unprintable ones.

Greatest achievement:
This is for others to judge, but I hope that it is still to come.
My parents.
Last movie I saw:
Die Hard With a Vengeance (on TV)
Football team:
MP I admire:
Alan Beith, our (Lib Dem) deputy leader, who is a very experienced and wise colleague.
Were you interested in politics as a child?
Not until I was about 16, and even then I was more interested in specific issues; I discovered competitive politics at university.
Why does politics matter?
The way we govern ourselves and engage with the outside world and the environment has a greater impact on the lives of other than anything else we control.
What one thing would you change tomorrow?
I would change it so I had more power to change more things! My top priority is to solve the dreadful problems in developing countries with HIV/AIDS epidemic and poverty.
Hermione also asked: Do you have any tips for people who want to become MPs?:
Know why you want to do politics (i.e. what you want to change) first, get a proper career first, and stick to your principles.


Got a question for our Man in Parliament?

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Send us your details if you'd like us to hunt out your MP! We'll put a new one up each week.

More InfoBORDER=0
PicturesPhotos of the top MPs
Find OutHow does Parliament work?


Past StoriesBORDER=0
MiP file: The Queen comes into town
The MiP files: Why Blair listens to Foo Fighters!
The MiP files: Threat to cod and chips!
The MiP files: How much is spent on you?
The MiP files: Anger about pet shop plans
The MiP files: Inside Tony Blair's house!
The MiP files: Christmas at the Commons!
The MiP files: Fighting for your voting rights!


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Also in The MiP files now:
MiP Files: The prime minister's crucial week
MiP file: Tory leader faces off with PM
MiP files: A new leader for the Tories?
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