I joined the Labour Party in 2010 to fight the Tories and support the values of the union and Labour movement.
The values that I try to live by, as a Labour politician, are fairness, solidarity, and respect.
I have believed in fairness my whole life. Most recently, as chair of our CLP, I have worked hard to include all members, from across the Labour party, from old hands to new, and to be sure each has their chance to contribute.
For too many people in our country though, the system is not fair.
So when I read the 2017 Labour manifesto I was heartened to read ‘let’s build a fairer Britain where no one is held back.’ As your PPC I would work hard to make that a reality.
From the very first district council meeting I attended, when I sat with my Labour group opposite the Tories that we had just taken away the administration from, I understood the power of unity and solidarity. Our group works collectively, and when we are organised, we have managed to achieve things I am really proud of, such as being the one of the very few councils left in the South West that is building council houses. I personally know some of the families who as a result have a decent home to live in.
Together we are stronger. I would work with all members and supporters of the Gloucester Labour Party to build a team and ensure we win for Labour next time.
Even during the hard days of the EU referendum campaign, when the country was split in two, and I had friends and comrades voting both ways, I always said we must have respect for other people’s points of view.
Gloucester voted to Leave, unlike Stroud. I can’t claim to have all the answers to why, but part of that must be because people felt left behind. I believe Labour must understand why people feel like that, and respect it, and work with communities to make it right again.
Everyone deserves to be respected. Richard Graham’s remarks about the homeless this summer, that they should ‘clear off’, shows he doesn’t have the basic compassion you would expect for a politician claiming to speak for Gloucester.