I was born in Whipps Cross. I grew up in Payzes Gardens, a small estate behind the Castle Pub in Woodford Green and still live in Waltham Forest. I was first in my family to attend university and studied law and politics at Nottingham and later at the Virginia Law School in the US. I now work as a solicitor. I have been proud to call this area my home, and I share your fears for its future. Our schools face devastating budget cuts, Whipps Cross Hospital is struggling, our high streets need to flourish. We need an MP who is committed to the area with the energy and passion to fight for it.
My commitment to Labour stems from a sense of civic duty, which I carry with me in my volunteering activities. For over 13 years, I have led London-wide engagement programmes, focusing on those from disadvantaged backgrounds including at Frederick Bremer (the successor to my old school, Aveling Park) and Highams Park.
Our area is changing. For many years Labour candidates here weren't seen as serious contenders. But I am serious about standing up for Chingford and Woodford Green. We deserve better than an absent MP who supports cuts which blight our community.
Two years ago we cut the Tory majority in Chingford and Woodford Green and won more votes for Labour than in any General Election since 1997.
I was previously a Trustee Governor of the English-Speaking Union, an international charity focused on empowering young people by debating and public speaking. I was an alumnus of this programme and worked my way up to become the youngest governor of a charity that has almost 100 years of history and several million pounds of assets. My proudest moment working with the ESU to create a London wide engagement programme that brought mentoring and debate to disadvantaged students in some of the most deprived area in London. The programme is called the London Debate Challenge, has had 13 years of success and you can read more about it here.
I am also a proud member of the Co-Operative Party, GMB and the Community Union.