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Why I am standing for Holborn & St Pancras

I have decided to run for Holborn & St Pancras after listening carefully to ordinary members and activists in this constituency.

I am the only candidate that combines a 15 year commitment to working with members in this community, and a national profile as a radical lawyer, doing something outside politics. I have sought to protect fundamental rights such as the right to free speech and the right to liberty in cases of national importance. I am on the board of a national and international charity but I have also worked on cases day in day out for the local community where I have seen the consequences of poverty and unfairness

My father came to Northern Ireland, with £5 in his pocket and started life as a door to door salesman, before being a market stall trader and then running his own business.  I grew up as one of a handful of immigrants in Northern Ireland at the height of the troubles. I saw what happens when you have a community divided and a politics that does not work. It is these experiences that have shaped my Labour values and made me appreciate the community that I am now part of in this area.

I have lived here since 1999 – my two children go to school and nursery here and both myself and my wife are heavily involved in community groups. I am the Chair of Haverstock School and on the Board of Queens Crescent Community Association.  It is these roots that make me want to stand for office.

My values are clear: I will fight the slide to an Americanised Thatcherite system of poor services for poor people. I will prioritise front line public services by fundamental reform and ditching vanity projects such as HS2 and Trident.

This is a unique constituency, with a history of radicalism. Frank Dobson was known to all, a man of integrity who stood up for his principles. As Chair of the local party I have been privileged to work with him and some of the most talented and effective Labour members in the country. I understand what the incredible people in this constituency can offer, and that’s why I am making this further commitment to you that I will never break.

If you vote for me, I will never be a remote MP drifting through the corridors of Westminster isolated from the problems of this constituency. I have learnt that politics is not about us as representatives but about the constituents that we seek to represent.

I will run this campaign, as I hope to be a PPC, and as I hope to be an MP. Outward looking, representing all including the most vulnerable and communicating with all.  I am not, nor have I ever been in favour of open primaries but the choice of Labour Party members potentially has a profound effect on the people that live here. I call on there to be open, public hustings or meetings in due course where Labour members can see us in action. Politics should be open to all.

My priorities are to be an active MP, for better housing, for defending public services, for protecting the NHS and for better living standards. Most of all, I am committed to ensuring a Labour victory in 2015 locally and nationally and I am the best person to help achieve that.

If you vote for me I will build my entire programme around the issues that are important to the members of the party right here. I am a team player, who can work with others and have a proven record as an active member of this community.