The link between Marlborough and Gunjur was established by the Marlborough Brandt Group (MBG) in 1981. So far 1,600 people have been on exchange visits between the two communities.
Commenting on her elevation, the high-flying politician said: “I am so looking forward to being part of the Department for Transport and rebuilding Britain’s infrastructure.”
Though United Kingdom is thousands of miles away from the south Gambian coastal town, the promotion of the “friend of Gunjur”, Ms Perry, in the cabinet reshuffle by British Prime Minister David Cameron has caused a buzz.
The head of women in Gunjur, Aja Mai Kebbeh, reacted: “Our hearts are filled with joy at this promotion for Claire. We met her when she came here with her daughter and Nick Maurice last year. We were so touched that she had taken the trouble to come down here to see what we were doing and the challenges we faced in our work. She clearly sympathises with the women and people of Gunjur and committed herself to supporting the link that has improved the livelihoods of the people of Gunjur over many years through projects.
“She took the time to visit the women’s gardens, the rice milling machines and the nursery school among other interventions meant to support development in Gunjur. The mere fact that she had attained the position of a member of parliament at the time was a great example to the women of Gunjur – young and old – to continue our quest for greater empowerment. We pray for her greater success in her bid to serve her people and humanity at large.”
The co-founder and director of Gunjur Marlborough link, Dr Nick Maurice (OBE) enunciated: “Her visit to Gunjur has given greater encouragement to our colleagues and friends in our partner non-governmental organisation TARUD, the Gunjur Link Committee and the wider community of Gunjur – and has particularly brought a feeling of solidarity with women in the community.”
Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (Wista) UK president Maria Dixon welcomed the choice of Claire Perry, adding that it “proves once again that women have a serious role to play in the workplace.”
“Over the past 40 years Wista has promoted the work of women in shipping and we have seen how important women are in any industry. Regardless of politics or gender, anyone with real flair, enthusiasm and desire to do well in any job will make a mark. We wish Claire Perry well and hope to see her fly the flag for transport in all its forms,” Dixon added”.
She has been a member of the Justice Select Committee, represented Britain at the Council of Europe and in October 2011 she was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Philip Hammond, the Secretary of State for Defence. She held the position as PPS until October 2013 when she joined the Government’s Whip Team as Assistant Whip. She has also led a Parliamentary Inquiry conducting a review of Online Child Protection, and in December 2012, she was appointed Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Preventing the Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood.]]>