The country stands at the brink. Ever since the Brexit referendum in 2016 our political elite has been obsessed with party political point scoring and manoeuvring for power rather than protecting the best interests of the citizens of this country.
The Conservatives have been more interested in internal power struggles than in delivering the Brexit that a majority voted for. Meanwhile Labour has been consumed by factional infighting when it was within their grasp to offer a strong opposition to a government in chaos.
Our traditional two party political system has failed us, Brexit cut across party lines and these internal divisions will not be settled by returning the same parties to power. Regardless of which party is in Downing Street they will be beset by party infighting for decades to come. It is time to move beyond party political dogma and elect people for their personal qualities and beliefs in how to remake our society.
In 2017 20,882 of you voted for me as the Labour Party candidate, the best ever result of any non-Conservative Party candidate in any constituency with Worthing in its name, and more than enough to secure victory in the 1997, 2001 and 2005 General Elections.
I stood for better housing for all, better healthcare for all and better education for all.
I stood for an ethical foreign policy that placed respect and human rights at the core of our diplomatic relations.
I stood for the need to protect our planet and every living creature on it.
I stood for fairness and justice for all.
My beliefs have not changed, I have always fought for greater opportunities for every member of society. To empower people and not to limit their potential. To fight for a society where everyone is free from prejudice and discrimination regardless of their race, religion, gender, sexuality, gender identity, disability or lack of wealth.
In 2017 some said that they didn’t vote for any party, claiming that all politicians are the same, well I clearly am not. Following the election result I vowed that I would keep fighting for the nearly 21,000 people that voted for me, I may have not quite achieved enough votes to be elected but that did not absolve me of my duty to those that believed in me.
Then the Labour Party did not believe that this was a seat that was worth fighting for, I refused to accept that and we achieved that result with little resources and only a handful of activists. Now that it has been proved to be winnable others within the party viewed the seat with covetous eyes and I was forced out. The best result ever is no match for internal party powerplays.
I am not a politician, I chose in 2017 never to fight dirty, never to compromise my ideals to fight fire with fire. I stand before you, the same person as in 2017, with beliefs and convictions that this country deserves better than the politicians that our political system produces.
For me politics was never about money or power, it was always about the opportunity to help real people. It was never about the expenses and the large pay packet. I have been struggling with very little income for years as I’ve always felt that the work I was doing fighting prejudice and raising awareness of mental health was more important than my own gain. I still believe that and, if elected, would set up a fund directly from my MPs salary to help support organisations that benefit the local community.
I cannot promise that I could change the world if I became your MP but I can promise you that I will fight for the people of this constituency every single day free from Party interference, working for you and not part of a political game obsessed with point scoring and blame shifting.
Old politics have failed us, it’s time for something new. It’s time to move beyond party tribalism and elect strong and principled independents. Send the message loud and clear to the political establishment that change must come, and that the time is now.