A south Bucks MP, who is celebrating 25 years in the role, has spoken out about her “fantastic” constituency and its “kind and generous” people.

Chesham and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan was first elected in 1992 at a time when, she said, there were very few women in Parliament.

She said: “The 25 years have been amazingly interesting, engaging and challenging in so many ways. It’s a job that doesn’t take hostages.

“There have been a lot of changes during that time. When I was elected, there were only 20 female MPs on the Tory benches [and] only around 60 women in Parliament.

“There are 191 today.

“I came into politics to make a contribution. To make a contribution for a large part of your career is a huge privilege.

“It is a very challenging job but with a lot of satisfaction.”

Mrs Gillan, who has worked under five Prime Ministers in her time, said her proudest moments came when she was able to help people in her constituency, including keeping a couple together who had been married for 60 years and was about to be split up by the state to go into sheltered accommodation.

She also considers helping to bring in the Autism Act as one of her achievements, saying it had made “some difference”.

She added: “Not many MPs get to bring in a piece of legislation.”

The MP cited her “biggest regret” as not being able to bring about the cancellation of HS2, which she has vehemently opposed along with local authorities in Bucks, the National Trust and anti-HS2 campaigners.

Mrs Gillan also spoke about “huge changes” to Parliament, saying her first year was difficult due to the death of Judith Chaplin, whom she shared a room with.

She said: “When I was first elected we used to sit [in Parliament] from 2.30pm until 10pm Monday to Friday. We would often sit through until 2am.

“Prime Minister’s Questions were twice a week.

“It is now very much a 24-hour-a-day job. It’s very hard to get a break. I have rarely got a day when I’m not doing something.”

She condemned the “horrible” Westminster attack last month, adding: “There is real work to be done to protect our freedoms and liberties. The world is less safe than it used to be.”

Speaking about her constituency, she said she treasured it and the people, and said she had “no intention” of retiring in the near future.

She said: “Amersham and Chesham is such a fantastic constituency. The history of our place is just fantastic.

“Not only do I treasure my constituency but I also treasure the sense of community among them.

“They are incredibly kind and generous people.”