Read my priorities as a candidate by clicking on the boxes below.
The housing crisis now affects us all – from those stuck on council waiting lists, to private renters struggling with huge rental costs, to families without the space they need. The solution is not to build towers of cramped flats - too often sold to corporate property speculators - but to build real communities which have the space to settle, grow, and raise families. I will work to ensure our next generation have the homes they deserve – built by councils available at social rents.
Ensuring all our children and young people achieve their potential, is a priority for me. As a parent, I want to see local schools accountable to local communities - not privatised academies - and with class sizes which ensure all children get the support they deserve, and high-quality teaching from trained professionals. I will campaign to reverse the government’s funding cuts to Ilford schools, support parents campaigning against academisation across Redbridge, and I categorically support our national policy to remove university tuition fees so no young person is saddled with debt.
Environmental breakdown is an unprecedented threat. Many communities in Ilford have families around the world already being severely impacted. It's driven by the current economic model - we need a new one, and fast, with massive green investment through a Green New Deal, and a leading role for the state and the communities affected, whether that’s to tackle local air pollution here in Ilford or the threat of rising sea levels in some of the worlds poorest countries. I will use every opportunity in Parliament, and on the radio and television to make the case for the radical action we need to take.
The rise of Trump, Farage, and Boris Johnson, and the tide of racism and Islamophobia unleashed across Britain must be challenged in our communities. I have fought and beaten the racist BNP and EDL across the country - both on the street and at the ballot box. Working for an anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate I have proudly organised groups in Ilford and across East London for many years taking on the far right - bringing together Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities, people from Asian, European and African backgrounds to tackle racism in our neighbourhoods. As your MP, I will never flinch from that cause.
In the past decade we have seen the virulent rise of Islamophobia, with my own friends locally harassed and abused - this is unacceptable, every citizen should be free to practise their religion without fear or prejudice. As your MP I will always stand shoulder to shoulder with the Muslim community against racism and bigotry.
I will use the platform to tackle injustices such as those delivered by the Tories to the Windrush generation - recently Jeremy Corbyn and I met Afro-Caribbean community members in Ilford to hear their stories and talk about what action Labour can take in government. Fighting racism in all its forms will be my top priority - with your support we can sweep away the structural discrimination and privilege built into so much of society and give all our communities hope for the future.
The Tories have so far miserably failed to negotiate a Brexit deal which protects our jobs and our rights. I believe it was right for Labour to try and respect the referendum and find a way forward for the country, and our party did in Parliament at every attempt – but those attempts have failed. Any Brexit deal must now go back to the people, with Labour campaigning whole heartedly to stay in the European Union. I am already campaigning nationally and working with the Labour Party Shadow Brexit team and others to oppose No Deal, and help explain to voters the choice now before us – and how damaging a No Deal Brexit will be to our economy.
I fear the agenda of many Tory MPs is to enter into a devastating trade deal with Donald Trump which will reduce our rights and standards and leave our NHS vulnerable to predatory US companies. I will oppose this kind of damaging exploitative trade deal as your MP with every sinew – Brexit has been revealed clearly as the project of the extreme right, and a No Deal Brexit is no good for Ilford, and no good for our country.
It is time for our party to fight for remaining in the EU, and then to radically reform and transform Europe so it works for the many.
Our NHS staff have been overworked and underpaid for too long, morale is low and staffing shortages common. My sister is a nurse and my wife is a paediatrician who previously worked at King George Hospital. I hear every day about the stress and strain our Party’s proudest achievement the NHS, is under. The conditions that our NHS staff are working in are unacceptable.
I’ve been involved in the campaign to Save King George Hospital for over ten years - as a ward Councillor in Chadwell Heath I led the charge with local Trade Unions to fight off the threat to the A&E. I will never back away from taking the fight for local NHS services to be protected and expanded at King George. The growth of local populations means there is compelling evidence we need a new wing at King George to improve A&E performance not only at King George, but also to relieve pressure on Queens Hospital. As your MP I will also demand and campaign for the return of maternity care facilities at King George, so mothers and families can get the best care close to home.
The privatisation and profiting from ill-health, and the leaking of NHS money into shareholders profits must stop. As MP I will campaign for a publicly funded, free at the point of use health service as Nye Bevan first championed.