YOUR VOICE

Speaking up for Canterbury, Whitstable and the villages

ABOUT ME

I grew up in central London but have lived and worked in Canterbury and Whitstable for 26 years, so I’m totally at home here. My two sons were born at the Kent & Canterbury Hospital. I’ve worked as a Teaching Assistant in local schools, and with local charities, churches, parents’ groups, arts events and schools in the area.

As a working single parent, I know the impact of drastic cuts on this area from my own experience. I really understand what life is like for those who need Tax Credits, benefits and decent housing. And I believe we should fight to make life better for our whole community, including those who fall on hard times, the homeless, refugees, people with disabilities, pensioners and families struggling to cope with the soaring cost of living.

Prior to being elected to Parliament, I was Chair of the Canterbury branch of the Labour Party and its representative on local cross-party forums such as Canterbury For Europe, Amnesty’s Canterbury & District Human Rights Network, Kent Anti-Racist Network and the Canterbury Clean Air Group. 

MY TIME AS YOUR MP

Since making history with my win over the Conservatives in June 2017, I’ve worked hard to represent all my constituents in Parliament. I have made cross-party working a priority, as I’m very conscious that I was elected by a broad coalition of voters.

I kept the promise I made during the 2017 campaign, to oppose Brexit, and resigned a front bench role to oppose my own party’s position on it. I was a leading figure in cross-party efforts to secure a People’s Vote.

I’ve always used the funds available to me to set up and run a fully-staffed, busy office in the constituency to deal with local people’s everyday issues.

Politically my priorities include:

  • fighting for health and social care 

  • supporting our rural and coastal communities

  • campaigning for action on climate change

  • calling out Government inaction over water pollution

  • defending our green spaces

I am a passionate defender of women’s rights, refugees and asylum seekers, and animal welfare. I’m a lifelong campaigner against all forms of discrimination including racism, ableism and homophobia.

I back electoral reform to create a new politics, and the closest possible relationship with our European neighbours. T

COMMITTEES AND GROUPS

So much good work is done by MPs on Committees, and I’ve really valued my role on a range of committees in Parliament. I particularly value the opportunity provided by committees to work cooperatively with MPs of other parties. The freedom that the cross-party nature of committee work gives us has been responsible for many gripping moments of political ‘courtroom drama’ in recent times.

Select Committees have a vital role in scrutinising the Government, holding Ministers, officials and big business leaders to account on your behalf. They commission investigations and publish reports on a wide range of issues that are relevant to everyday life. In my first term ,I  served on the Women and Equalities and then the Work and Pensions Select CommitteeS.

In the last parliament I was a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, meaning I got to represent Kent’s wonderful farmers and the many causes within the environment, food and rural affairs brief that I’m passionate about. We recently reported on issues such as rural mental health, the UK’s food security, water companies, soil health, and species reintroduction.

I’ve also served on Bill Committees, and I’m particularly active in a wide range of All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs). I Chair the All- Party Dog Advisory Welfare Group with my great colleague, vet Marc Abraham, am a longstanding member of the APPG against antisemitism, and was proud to Co-Chair the new APPG on Birth Trauma with my colleague Theo Clarke.

 

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