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PoliticsOctober 19, 2018

‘You’ll have to speak Antipodean English’: NZ-born MP to Scotsman at Westminster


Communication broke down in Britain’s parliament this week as a New Zealand-born MP struggled with another member’s Glaswegian accent.

Sir Paul Beresford, MP for the Mole Valley in the British parliament, grew up in Levin and studied dentistry at Otago University before moving to the UK in the 70s to work in the NHS. “I’ve fitted happily into British culture ever since, only experiencing identity crises at certain rugby matches,” he wrote recently.

Holes still remain in grasping the fullness of British culture, however, at least insofar as Scottish accents are concerned. During a House of Commons Commission at Westminster this week, David Linden of the Scottish National Party laid a tricky question on the expat Kiwi.

Linden wanted to know about disability access on the northern estate. Sir Paul wanted to know WTF Linden was talking about. Lindsay Hoyle, deputy speaker of Parliament, wanted questions submitted in writing.

Sir Paul is a dual British-NZ citizen, “born, bred and educated in New Zealand, arriving in east London to work in the NHS in the Seventies”.

According to the Otago University Alumni News, Sir Paul “continues to practise dentistry part-time”.

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