First and foremost I’m a Chingford girl! I was born in the local hospital in Whipps Cross and went to Chingford Foundation School, worked in the Greggs on Chingford Mount and did the local paper round!
My father, a car mechanic from Fiji and my mother from Pakistan moved to Chingford in the 1970s.
My mother named me Faiza because it translates from Urdu as Victorious. My mother’s dreams combined with British state infrastructure – inspirational teachers, the welfare system, public transport – allowed me to beat the odds.
From state school education I went on to study philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University, from there I gained a Doctorate in Manchester.
My life ever since has been dedicated to tackling poverty and inequality through economic change and in my current role as director of CLASS think-tank I have been able to study and understand the root causes of some of major issues we are facing in society.
Why am I running?
It’s uncommon for a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate to be selected so many years before the next planned election, but when the opportunity came for me to represent my hometown of Chingford and Woodford Green I knew I had to put my name forward.
Winning selection in CWG during summer 2018 was not only something very close to my heart, it was very personal; in 2017 I lost my dear mother to heart failure, before she passed away she had to suffer the indignity of being reassessed for her disability allowance.
The cruel process of the reassessment is legacy of the current Tory MP for CWG – Iain Duncan Smith – and that is why taking on and unseating him is more to me than just representing the town that raised me.
What am I offering?
As MP for Chingford & Woodford Green my main ambitions for the constituency will be to tackle the growing issues in the following areas:
Schooling – I will work to fight the rampant rise of acadamisation, which is turning our local schools into cash cows for wealthy investors, leading to high teacher churn, job insecurity and poorer educational standards. More than that, I’m fed up of parents having to 'hope' their child gets into a good school locally, we need to invest in every school to ensure every child fulfils their potential.
High streets – I will work with local and central government to improve economic conditions for small and medium sized businesses including better controls and regulations to help businesses secure local properties at reasonable prices.
Crime prevention – I will work towards bringing back initiatives to get young people into extracurricular activities and campaign for more funding for early intervention programmes.
In government my main ambitions will be in the following areas:
Green jobs and industry – climate breakdown is real and we are on the precipice of irreversible damage to our planet and desperate times call for desperate measures. Fortunately, green technology and energy means green jobs, lots of green jobs. On our small island we can maximise tidal and wind power, this not only means an eternal source of cheap renewable energy, it also means skilled jobs for life and a revival of the great British costal towns. I will fight for this country to become a world leader in green energy.
Tacking inequality – I have spent most of my professional life researching and understanding inequality. I will work in parliament towards a government of investment and one that tackles greed. With a fairer tax system and investment in public infrastructure, every child in this country, rich or poor, should have the opportunity to receive first class education and have access to the tools and resources to reach their maximum potential.
Foreign policy – I joined the Labour Party following the election of Jeremy Corbyn, prior to this there were too many things about the party that were completely incompatible with me – a major factor being the Iraq war. I will work tirelessly to make sure our government never repeats the awful mistakes of the past when it comes to foreign intervention and war.
Why am I asking for help?
Unfortunately, the British political system is not made for people like me, and while I’m working towards representing my community, engaging with locals and trying to build a transformative campaign, I’m also working full time running a think-tank, as well as being a writer and political commentator.
Being a PPC is a completely unpaid role, not only for myself but my small team of organisers, digital comms and local campaigners.
Despite the amazing support I have received from people, we can’t deliver the best possible campaign without the resources.
I want to reach out to the community in as many ways as possible, with local events, community activities and engaging digital content. While totally possible, we need to work hard to turn around his 2,438 majority. This can only by made possible with financial support. Unlike IDS, I don’t have staff on a payroll, I don’t have an office and I don’t have endless hours for PR stunts and opportunities. I live in a two bedroom rented flat, he lives in a country manor with tennis courts and a swimming pool!
So please help me beat one of the biggest political villains of our time. Every single donation counts! Let’s make history together.
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