It has been a huge privilege to have served as the Member of Parliament for Dulwich and West Norwood, the area which has been my home for more than 20 years. I have worked hard to represent everyone in this constituency and I am delighted to be standing for re-election as the Labour Party candidate for Dulwich and West Norwood in the forthcoming General Election.
Before I was elected to Parliament, I worked as town planner. I have spent my entire working life – both as a town planner and an MP - involving local people in decision-making.
The values that have driven my work for Dulwich and West Norwood are those of equality and social justice; cooperation and internationalism; and the issues I work on are those that matter most to my constituents – opposing Brexit, tackling the housing crisis, fighting the injustice of the Windrush scandal and the hostile environment, tackling air pollution and improving road safety, stopping the climate emergency, championing our NHS and brilliant local schools, campaigning for the living wage and against Universal Credit, or holding to account the privatised industries that all too often are failing our communities.
I have always been passionately pro-European. I campaigned as hard for Remain in the EU Referendum as I have in any of the elections where my name has been on the ballot paper. The Labour Party locally in Dulwich and West Norwood spoke to more voters than any other political party by far to encourage them to vote Remain. I have faithfully represented the very strongly held pro-Remain views of residents in Dulwich and West Norwood. I voted against the triggering of Article 50 and in favour of a second referendum.
I have campaigned hard both in Parliament and in the constituency on behalf of our local communities, and against the devastation of Lib Dem and Tory austerity. I am working for a fairer economy where everyone earns at least the London Living Wage, more opportunities for our young people and an end to the serious violence that is destroying so many young lives, and more genuinely social housing. Since 2015 I have organised regular large community meetings on climate change.
I have supported local parents and teachers in campaigning against the Tory Government’s proposals to cut funding to every single one of our local schools, I chaired a Joint Select Committee Enquiry into the future of supported housing and I was a co-sponsor of the Homelessness Reduction Bill, which provides additional protections to people threatened with homelessness. I am campaigning for reform of the school history curriculum to make it inclusive, focusing on the role of migration in shaping and sustaining Britain. I work extensively on issues affecting autistic people and people with learning disabilities, including the urgent need for more community based supported housing and an end to incarceration in hospitals.
I have held the Government to account for Southern Rail’s disastrous services by writing repeatedly to the Minister and Secretary of State on behalf of residents, but also by speaking up about the issue in Parliament and as a founding member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Southern Rail. I led the campaign against the closure of our local Royal Mail Delivery Offices in East Dulwich and West Norwood. I am campaigning for public ownership of our water industry, having seen the disastrous failures of Thames Water across my constituency first hand. And I helped to save our much-loved local football club Dulwich Hamlet FC, raising their plight in Parliament.