It is an enormous honour and privilege to have been selected by local Labour Party members to be Welsh Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Mid & South Pembrokeshire at the next general election.
I live just outside St Davids, but I grew up in a farming family and have spent many Easters lambing and many summers doing the harvest. Professionally, I trained and practised as a barrister, specialising in healthcare, public and employment law, before leaving to work as an organiser for a grassroots trade union that helps cleaners campaign for better pay and working conditions. My values are hard work, community and caring for others. I am committed to Pembrokeshire and want to be an MP that is embedded within our local community, using my skills to fight for a kind, caring and compassionate society where everyone is valued.
I've been out campaigning regularly on the doorstep with a fantastic team of volunteers, and we have been hearing the same message: people in Pembrokeshire are really feeling the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis. After 13 years of Tory government and nearly 20 years of a Pembrokeshire Tory MP, there is a clear sense of anger and frustration. And they have every right to be angry when the economic record of this Tory Government is so dire: real average weekly earnings are stuck where they were in 2005, while mortgage rates are going up and working people are saddled with the highest tax burden for a generation.
We must reverse this cycle of economic decline. Our heavy industry, once dominated by the oil industry, is lacking the leadership that we need from the UK Government as we transition to renewable energy. Our young talent is too often forced to leave the county in search of other career opportunities, and priced out by an inflated housing market. On tourism, we have a world leading coastline with an abundance of natural beauty, but that sector should be offering people long and rewarding careers, rather than seasonal, low-paid and insecure work. Finally, our agricultural sector is being forced to grapple with botched Tory trade deals that seek to make Welsh farmers uncompetitive.
As your Labour MP, I would stand up for Pembrokeshire and work alongside our Labour Senedd members and local Labour councillors to address the problems we face – both as a local community and as a wider society. Labour’s agenda is bold: economic competency, a new deal for working people, climate leadership, a commitment to locally sourced and sustainable food, a removal of export barriers, and trade standards which we can be proud of. A Labour Government in Westminster can and will make a difference. Above all, however, we recognise the importance of cooperation and we are prepared to reach out across traditional party lines. I am ambitious for Pembrokeshire and believe that together we can achieve great things.
It is time for change – both in Westminster, and in Pembrokeshire.
You can read the article in the Pembrokeshire Herald on page 66 here