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There’s a muse behind every leader: Entrepreneurs and MPs on their mothers

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Appearing on an LBC debate with his fellow candidates, Goldsmith was asked if his family had donated to his campaign.

He replied: “I’m going to come across as a mother’s boy. My mother has made a donation to my campaign. But you know what, if I can’t persuade my mother, I’m not going to stand a chance with the rest of London.”

When asked how much she had donated, he claimed that it hadn’t come through yet. “But trusting my mother it will be a generous donation,” he said. 

When he was told on the show how much his mother had actually donated, his expression became rather priceless. He never expected such a large amount, despite knowing that his mother would have definitely pitched in to help him – and that she would probably spare no expense.

It certainly did turn out to be a substantial sum – £50,000.

Essentially, behind every leader is somebody who believes in them and believes in their dreams. For a lot of people, it all starts with their mother.

In a Standard interview, Goldsmith claimed that despite his father – financier James Goldsmith – being the most interesting person he had ever met “by a hundred miles,” it was his mother that had been constant throughout life.

Goldsmith may have been worried of appearing to be a “mummy’s boy,” but he is far from the only MP to have placed such a large value on his mother.

An archive news report unearthed by BBC Newsnight revealed that Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn was once dismissed as scruffy by a Conservative MP, for wearing a jumper knitted by his mother. 

MP Terry Dicks allegedly called for “higher sartorial standards from his fellow members,” saying that “Labour scruffs” like Corbyn should be barred from addressing the house.

Of course, Corbyn defended his outfit, saying Parliament “isn’t a fashion parade.” He claimed it was, “very comfortable and perfect for [the day’s] weather because [he was] hopping in and out of different buildings, going to meetings.”

That he shunned the normal attire to wear something his mother made says quite a lot. There’s a reason why Corbyn has all the mothers’ votes.

Of course, parents have also been known to influence their children in following in their footsteps.

History was two decades in the making for the women of the Osamor family after Edmonton MP Kate Osamor was successful in securing a seat in the North London constituency – 26 years after her mother was controversially stopped from doing the same.

In an interview with The Voice, Osamor said: “Naturally, she has influenced me politically.”

She also claimed that she couldn’t be more proud that her mother had been very mindful that this was now her journey. 

Speaking of her triumph, Osamor told the Enfield Independent: “I was a young person when my mum was going through what she had to endure and that affects your own politics and how you see it. It was a privilege to have my mum here too.”

Then there’s business secretary Sajid Javid, who said his parents came to the UK from Pakistan in 1964 “with dreams of a better life”. Before coming to own a clothes shop, Javid noted that his father not only worked in a cotton mill, but also drove buses and ran a clothing stall at the local market. His mother made clothes for said stall. 

He admitted that she was one of the reasons behind his deep knowledge of ladies clothing, and suggested that he was certain no other male MP knew more about womenswear than he did.

In his first speech as business secretary, Javid explained that working in the clothes shop had taught him the principles of running a small company. And while his father had instilled in him the notion that hard work led to great rewards, his mother helped give him an unwavering belief in enterprise.

Read on to find out what lessons entrepreneurs, such as Richard Branson, learned from their mothers.

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