My Dad, Sir Nicky, would have been delighted

WHAT WOULD my father, Sir Nicholas Winton, have thought had he lived long enough to see his local MP for the past 19 years become prime minister?

As MP for Maidenhead, Theresa May has attended a huge number of local events over the years where my father met her regularly.

He told her bluntly early on that, as a Labour supporter, he had not voted for her, but that did not prevent her support of him at every opportunity or the development of a warm relationship between them.

She was there to applaud the microlight flight he undertook in 2003, aged 94, piloted by Judy Leden, a world champion hang-glider and daughter of one of the Czech ‘children’ he rescued in the Kindertransport he organised from Prague to the UK in 1939.

She unveiled his statue on Maidenhead railway station in 2010, alongside Sir Nicholas, his family and friends, local dignitaries and a large group from his local Rotary club, where he had been a member for more than 50 years.

More recently, May would attend the birthday parties held at his home in Maidenhead and share a glass of wine or cup of tea with a slice of birthday cake.

He loved to talk politics and about the state of the world with her and with Lord Alf Dubs, a Labour Peer, who was another of his Czech ‘children’.

And if they were both there together, so much the better, enabling him to spread his message of the need for ethics in public life and the value of compromise.

In fact, May spoke warm words about him at his memorial service on 19 May this year at the Guildhall in London, telling the assembled guests that after the coalition government was formed in 2010, Sir Nicholas had reminded her that coalition meant compromise and that was not a bad thing.

She was a great supporter of Jewish News’ petition asking Royal Mail to bring out a stamp honouring Sir Nicholas, which was so successful that in March this year, his face graced one of its British Humanitarian special issue stamps.

My father always had respect for those who worked hard in public service doing what they believed to be right.

So, although their political allegiances were different, I think he would have been delighted had he lived to see Theresa May become prime minister.

About the Author
Barbara is daughter of Sir Nicholas Winton
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