Person behind the Politics: Ian Walker (Conservative) interview

Ian Walker is standing as the Conservative Party candidate in the general election in the Sheffield Hallam constituency.

On Friday 6th February I interviewed him on my Business Live programme on Sheffield Live 93.2FM, Sheffield’s community radio station with 40,000+ listeners.

Born in Sheffield, Ian Walker is the managing director of Sheffield engineering company Rotary Electrical Services and chair of Rotary Engineering which exports to over 60 countries. After living in Asia, Europe and London, working for engineering companies including BOC (British Oxygen), Ian returned to his home city in 1992 to take over the family business on his father’s retirement.

The interview was the first of a series of interviews I conducted with prospective Members of Parliament, uncovering “the person behind the politics” and asking what policies they would like to introduce to support businesses and social enterprises.

On the 13th of February the Green Party candidate, Peter Garbutt, was on the show, and on the 27th of February the Labour Party candidate, Oliver Coppard took part. Links to their interviews are below.

Listen to the interview with Ian Walker:


Why are the interviews in this format?

Political interviews are frequently conducted in what could be termed the Paxmanian style – an interrogatory approach (more about this here). And there’s a time, place and value in this. But radio seldom has the time for long-form political interviews. As a radio presenter, and a resident of Sheffield Hallam, I wanted these interviewees to open up and, in their own words, to explain something of their experience, particularly in working in business and social enterprise.

Listen to the other Person behind the Politics interviews:

(I invited Nick Clegg to be interviewed for this series, emailing and calling his office and his team several times; and suggested the Liberal Democrats could send an alternative interviewee if necessary – to date, there’s been no reply. However the Liberal Democrats have been interviewed by other Sheffield Live programmes.)

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