I’ve done a lot of work down the years on strengthening the economy of various towns and regions in places as diverse as Lebanon, Ethiopia, Amsterdam, Leeds, Belfast and South Wales. But I’ve never got involved in politics despite being a Labour party member for most of the last 35 years. Why now?
There are two things really driving it. Firstly, I’m really angry. This Government talks about “levelling up” but they’re lying. They’ve completely ignored towns like ours. They’re letting heating costs go through the roof while the energy companies make billions in profits. They used Covid to make millions for their mates in ways that can only be called corruption while failing to support our front line workers. And they have deliberately let benefits and public sector pay get worse and worse in real terms every year. I just can’t watch this any more without doing something about it.
Secondly, I’m new to Hastings – we moved here two years ago just before the pandemic, after our kids had all left home. I love the place and I want to defend what’s magical about it (the music, the makers, the pubs, the festivals, the beach – without sewage thanks southern water – while helping to tackle the many big challenges it faces in housing, good jobs, great schools and, of course, climate change.