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People: Alliance Party MP Naomi Long on her special relationships

The 42-year-old is the Alliance Party MP for East Belfast, where she lives with her husband Michael.

My husband, Michael

We met through his sister - she and I would have been at the same youth clubs. Our first date was to see Dirty Dancing at the cinema and our first kiss was outside the City Hall in Belfast, although we had no idea how significant that was at the time!

Michael works as a dentist, but he was elected to Castlereagh Borough Council at around the same time I was elected as a councillor in Belfast. He is now the group leader of the new Belfast super-council.

We've been together since we were teenagers, so we've known each other forever. We're best friends and have a lot of shared interests.

My best friends

I'm quite private, so my best friends tend to be people I've known for quite a long time. My best friend is Michelle Brown. We met on our first day at Bloomfield College. After that we walked to school together every day, and she was my bridesmaid.

Michelle is now a teacher and we don't get to see each other as often as we used to. Now, we only tend to get the chance to meet up at Christmas and birthdays. My other friend is Alison Wallace, Michael's sister. As I said, we met when we were teenagers. I used to phone to talk to her but would end up talking to Michael.

We were friends before we were family. Alison now lives in Manchester, so once again we don't get to see each other as much as we would like. She was my other bridesmaid.

My parents, James and Emily Johnston

My dad passed away when I was 11 and my mum died five years ago. When dad died it was the point where I was just about to change from primary to secondary school. He knew I had passed my 11-Plus, but didn't get to see me to go Bloomfield.

I took on a lot of the DIY projects around the house after he died and just generally had a go at things. I also did my work experience in the shipyard, as that's where he worked. I wanted to see inside it, and doing so cemented my decision to study engineering at Queen's. Mum and I were very close, as it was just the two of us for so long. It was a big loss when she passed away.

Who I go to for advice

This is a tough one. As an only child, I'm quite self-reliant and, having worked as an engineer, I'm also quite evidence-based when it comes to making decisions.

The person I would bounce ideas off first would be Michael. It helps that he knows what makes me tick and we have the same political views and interests.

My mentor

The person who has influenced my political career is David Alderdice, who was the Alliance group leader in City Hall when I was elected to council.

He was the one who convinced me to run for council, as I had no political ambitions whatsoever and had joined the party just to work in the back room. I'd been doing that for quite a while, and he convinced me to run for election by telling me that I wouldn't get elected! He was also the one who convinced me to run for the Assembly 18 months later. I'm never sure if he gets the credit or the blame!

My celebrity crush, Dave Gahan

I don't really do celebrity crushes, but I've always been a big fan of the band Depeche Mode. Their lead singer Dave Gahan's voice gives me goosebumps.

Fantasy dinner party

The first guests would have to be my parents. I would love to get to know my dad a little as an adult. There's so much of my life that neither of them got to see, so much that we didn't get to say.

I would love to have some time to sit down with them and know more about them as adults.

Of course, I'd have Michael there because we never seem to have enough time to spend together.

Then, I'd ask the chef Gordon Ramsey because I've been to his restaurant and his cooking is beautiful. I'd also invite Harper Lee, because my favourite book is To Kill a Mockingbird - I'd love to speak to her to discuss why she only ever wrote one book.

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