I started out, when I was three years old, at a special school in Winsford, in Cheshire. I only went to the special school for some intensive physio, before transferring to the local village primary two years later. By the time I reached 21, I had got myself a first class degree from Oxford. Yes, I have cerebral palsy. It's very mild, and doesn't really affect how I live. It probably affects the way some people see me, and there will always be people who write you off because of it – but I've never let them stop me. Having had it all my life, I don't know any different anyway! That was why being diagnosed with epilepsy at 22 was a shock – because I had to change my life. Alcohol was one of the triggers for a fit, so I had to go teetotal to my very great regret. You have to be careful, as your health is too important.
But I reckon that these life experiences will make me a better Member of Parliament. I'll have a perspective no-one else will. And I think it will make me a more effective representative for Blackpool and Thornton Cleveleys. Plus, I'm bloody-minded and hate being told what to do – especially by a Government that seems to want to tell us how to live our lives, and ban everything in sight.