I'm a teacher, youth worker and journalist and I stood in this year's London Assembly Elections for the Labour Party in the West Central constituency. It was a great campaign and for the second time running I massively reduced the Tory vote making an unwinnable seat winnable as I did in Havering & Redbridge in 2012 when I reduced the Tory majority from 40,000 to just 4,000.
In West Central however, the overall result demonstrated an 80% shortfall in increased voter turnout when compared with results across all other constituencies in the London Assembly Region. In real terms the average rise in turnout across the 14 constituencies in London was 25,648 votes. In West Central the rise was just 3,902. More than 20,000 fewer votes. The election was lost by 14,564 votes.
At the Pre-Trial hearing on July 26 2016 the Court agreed there is a case to answer, and having secured funding for the first stages of the process I'm taking the case forward. The trial date is set for 8 December 2016.
I have two eminent Election Petition lawyers poised to take up the case but I need to start raising additional funds in order to formerly instruct Counsel. Pro bono representation is rarely granted in Election Petition cases and there are no other means of funding open to me. Lawyers suggested Crowd Funding as one way to ensure the legal representation this case warrants, so I set up this fundraising page!
In addition to the costs for my Counsel, if I lose the case (i'm fighting to ensure I don't), the Court could award Costs against me, which in some Election Petition cases runs into tens of thousands, hence the target figure of £40 -60k to cover all potential outcomes. Anyone whose had to deal with lawyers knows that the rates for Solicitors and Barristers can be upwards of £400 per hour, and soon mount up! If I win of course, the Respondents will be subject to the costs of the claim.
Some of you inside or outside politics will know a bit about the work I've done in aspiring to support my community but you can read more of my backstory here. You can google too for high profile stories that have hit the headlines - my commentary was published in The Guardian here.
I hope once you've grasped the bigger picture you're able to support and even lend a hand with this 'crowd justice' campaign. Feel free to contact me via social media or email for more info & updates.
"...To no one will We deny or delay, right or justice."
Magna Carta (1215)
I look forward to hearing from you.