The UK General Election - 4th July 2024

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Meeting the Challenge: A Conservative Perspective from Earley and Woodley

The countdown to the next General Election is on. It has to be held by January 2025, but most people agree that it will be held in either Spring or Autumn 2024. I’m honoured to have been selected as the Conservative candidate for Earley and Woodley – a brand new constituency following the boundary review.

As all those who stand to be a candidate know, it can be a long path to selection and an even bigger challenge to be elected as an MP.

I had some incredibly strong fellow-candidates in the pool to become the Conservative candidate for Earley and Woodley. My key focus in the selection process – as it will be should I get elected – was concentrating on the challenges faced by the constituency, and aiming to represent the area and its whole population to the best of my ability. It is clear that this has been a theme repeated right across the country, for all parties, as local associations look for local candidates who will represent them and the constituencies’ priorities.

Like many candidates, I have had a long and varied career outside of politics. I was a graduate trainee in IT at British Airways and headed up application development for the organisation. I became Head of Group Cyber and data protection, IT strategic planning and business control. I then ran People services, which meant I was responsible for things like recruitment, airport transformation, and corporate change programmes; and I was the BA management side representative on the European Works Council.

These experiences have shaped who I am as a person. They shaped my political identity and gave me the platform to step into politics. I am conscious too that I have been a woman in leadership positions throughout my career, and of the importance of ensuring strong female representation at all levels of politics – including Parliament.

I have also been involved in political activity prior to my selection as the Conservative for the upcoming election. I have been a councillor for 16 years and am currently the Conservative Group Leader on Wokingham Borough Council. I was Deputy Leader of the Council and at different points was Executive Member for Executive member for Highways and Transport, Housing and Residents services, and vice chair of Audit.

I have a strong connection to this seat, and I know the challenges local people face, from tackling overdevelopment, to dealing with crime and anti-social behaviour in the area. These are the priorities that people are raising on the doorsteps when I go out every week, and these are the issues which local people want their MP to represent them on. This is what has driven me to stand as a candidate for the next election – to be a vocal champion for all constituents in my area, looking to tackle the challenges they face every day.

I have been setting up my campaign team over the past few months, including our campaign messaging and engagement plans. It will take a huge effort from people right across the constituency; but my campaign is grounded in the issues which matter to people most, and the issues which they have raised with me every time I knock on doors in the area.

It is obviously my hope that the Conservative Party forms the Government after the General Election. It has been challenging for many parts of the country over the past few years, with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and other global challenges hitting our economy. These challenges have been faced by the people of Earley and Woodley like everywhere else in the country, and my hope is that on election day the voters there put their trust in me to deliver for them for the next 5 years.

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