Barry Gardiner

Working Hard for Brent North

Barry to Stand Again in Brent North

Barry has been selected by the Labour Party to stand again in Brent North in the general election on 8th June and is looking forward to spending the next few weeks talking to people in the constituency and sharing Labour's vision for a fairer society with them.

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Barry made the following statement about the election:

"I didn't ever set out to be a politician.

At the age of 22, I wanted to be a priest but I was living on one of the roughest council estates in Scotland when the Conservatives decided to sell off 718 local houses. They just didn't bother to tell the residents- so one day we opened the evening paper to find our own home was up for sale! That made me angry and I decided to get involved in politics.

I hate it when officials treat people with that sort of contempt- as if they know best and people should just accept whatever they're given. If you're a politician it is your job to represent your constituents to the officials not to justify the officials to your constituents. I am dealing with more than 7,000 live cases and I try to fight for every person.

My father died when I was 8 and my mum when I was 17 so I had to make my own way to university. I loved the academic challenge and after graduating from St Andrews, I got a scholarship to study political philosophy at Harvard, then came back to do research at Cambridge. Eventually I decided I'd rather fight for justice than write academic papers about it! I was elected to the Council in Cambridge and 4 years later found myself Chair of Finance and the City's Mayor.

I worked in the City of London and became senior partner in a company of marine arbitrators. That gave me hands on business experience running my own company. It is a huge responsibility knowing that at the end of each month people are depending on you for their pay cheque. I loved it and the business was very successful but I knew that my real vocation was full time politics.

When I was first elected in 1997 our local schools were some of the worst in London. I fought in parliament to bring extra resources to Brent and helped establish great new schools like JFS in the constituency. I saw the problem of childhood obesity and diabetes and worked with local head teachers to set up the extra curricular sports and physical activity programme, "Move It!". I am so proud that all Brent schools are now rated either good or outstanding.

It has always been the needs of my constituents in Brent North that have inspired my work in Parliament. It was fighting for leaseholders in Roe Green that prompted me to bring in The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act that gave leaseholders fundamental basic rights. It was working with local community groups on breast cancer that made me fight for better digital screening. It was the concerns of a resident in Kenton that got me to introduce The Fireworks Act. It was air pollution along the North Circular damaging the lungs of our children that started my campaign to improve air quality and tackle vehicle emissions. I see it as the job of a constituency MP to turn local problems into national legislative solutions --- that is what I have tried to do. Now as Shadow International Trade Secretary I am fighting for our business exporters to get a better deal when we leave the EU- not the hard Brexit of this government.

If you re-elect me I will always work to serve you: to improve our hospital, to build homes our young people can afford and to create jobs that pay a living wage. Because if it matters to you, then it matters to me.

Our country can do so much better. And with a Labour government we will.

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