The London Grill: Jenny Jones

We challenge our contributor to reply to ten devilishly probing questions about their London and we don’t take “Sorry Gov” for an answer. Everyone sitting in the hot seat will face the same questions that range from their favourite way to spend a day out in the capital to their most hated building on London’s skyline to find out just what Londoners really think about their city. The questions might be the same but the answers vary wildly.

Jenny Jones[J]enny Jones, Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb joined the House of Lords in 2013, having been chosen for this appointment in a ballot of all Green Party members. She has also been a Green Party member of the London Assembly since its inception in 2000. She grew up in Brighton, East Sussex, and has lived in Herefordshire, Lesotho in southern Africa, and the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, before moving to Camberwell, South London, in 1991. Before entering politics, Jones worked as an archaeologist, studying carbonised plant remains. Jenny has been named among London’s 1,000 Most Influential Londoners every year since the award’s inception. She has said that she fell in love with the capital during a visit to London Zoo at the age of five and has described London as the ‘best city in the world’. She has a canal boat in the North of the City, loves the cinema that London offers, takes yoga classes and cycles everywhere.

What’s your secret London tip?
Camberwell High Street. It has so many excellent café’s and pubs at reasonable prices.

What’s your secret London place?
My back garden, where I grow herbs, courgettes and tomatoes, but my neighbours can see in.

What’s your biggest gripe about London?
Its air pollution. We are being threatened with an EU fine of £300m if we don’t clean it up, not to mention what it’s doing to our lungs, hearts and life expectancy.

What’s your favourite building?
The BBC’s Broadcasting House near Oxford Circus. It’s a lovely blend of old and new.

What’s your most hated building?
I might once have said the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre, but I’ve grown fond of its ugliness. Otherwise, Buckingham Palace – so heavy and ugly.

What’s the best view in London?
Into my garden while lying in bed. Or, from my office, looking east past Tower Bridge across to Canary Wharf and Blackheath. Or (am I allowed 3?) looking west while on Waterloo Bridge – quintessential London.

What’s your personal London landmark?
City Hall – the out-of-place bauble that has contained so much of my political life.

What’s London’s best film, book or documentary?
Passport to Pimlico or the bit at Waterloo from the Bourne Ultimatum.

What’s your favourite bar, pub or restaurant?
The Fox at Hanwell and JJ’s Indian in Southampton Way, SE5

How would you spend your ideal day off in London?
Time on our canal boat on the Grand Union with family and friends.

This ‘Grill’ was first posted on the Radio Taxis blog.

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