Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Hastings & Rye
Just 346 votes to go to win the Hastings & Rye Constituency from the Tories!
I come from a working-class background: my father delivered paraffin and my mother claimed to be a clairvoyant, telling fortunes to earn a bit of extra money. I was educated at a state grammar school and was the first person in my family to go to university, to study microbiology and biochemistry at Aberystwyth University.
I worked in scientific research for a time (I helped develop an immunofluorescence technique for Legionella diagnosis!), then I spent a short period as a FE teacher, but have worked mostly in local government, and at the Audit Commission, also running a consultancy business carrying out projects for local and central government. I now work full-time as council leader.
A member of the Labour Party since 1980 and a trade unionist since I left school, I’ve been a councillor twice. Firstly, in Hackney in 1986, where I was chair of the Housing Committee.
I moved to Hastings 20 years ago. I was first elected to Hastings Council in 2000, taking on the regeneration portfolio in 2006, and becoming Leader of the Council in 2015. In these roles, I’ve been responsible for many of the transformational improvements across the town. I have taken on other roles locally too, I’ve been the of the Fisheries Local Action Group, and am an associate governor of Sandown Primary School.
In April 2017, I was selected as the Labour candidate for Hastings and Rye and came within 346 votes of unseating the then Home Secretary, Amber Rudd.
I live with my partner, Jo, in Maze Hill, where I spend as much time as I can gardening and growing vegetables. I have a daughter who lives in London, where she works as deputy director of a gallery in Hoxton. I also have three cats, a classic car and an electric bicycle.
It has been an enormous privilege to serve Hastings as its council leader. I’ve adopted Hastings & Rye as my home, it’s an area I know well, and understand. I would welcome the opportunity to serve you as the Hastings & Rye MP. I hope you’ll vote for me.