Luke Pollard: Democracy Week Student & Alumni Stories

November 10, 2022
Luke Pollard MP

Luke Pollard MP
Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
University of Exeter alumnus – Politics 2001
Even as a proud Plymothian, Exeter has a special place in my heart. I graduated with a degree in politics in 2001 and despite spending a year as President of the Guild, I was convinced I didn’t want a career in politics. I didn’t want to watch my back or dilute my experiences by a fear of what would emerge in the future. A bold choice but one that showed me the value of authenticity and learning from mistakes. Being yourself matters and Exeter gave me the chance to explore and grow into the person I am today.

Politics is a brutal trade but working with those you disagree with is a skill I learnt as a leftie at Exeter at a time when Tory politics were more common than Labour ones. You have two ears and one mouth, and at Exeter I learnt to use them in that proportion.

If you can revel in trying new things, learn from your mistakes, be authentically you and celebrate diversity, you won’t really go too wrong.