Election – week 2

Out on the campaign trail
Out on the campaign trail

I have been out knocking on doors and talking to residents across Hammersmith & Chiswick since the boundaries of the new constituency were confirmed last year. But now the election has been called I am out every day, on the doorstep, at schools and stations, trying to talk to as many people as possible.

What is unusual about this election is that I have never seen such a concerted effort by a governing party to avoid talking about any of the actual issues that voters are concerned about.

My inbox is full of emails from residents worried about what is affecting them such as the cost of living crisis, the spiraling cost of private rents in London, or the difficulties they have had in securing an appointment through an NHS left under-resourced by the Tories.

Yet Sunak and his Party are studiously avoiding any discussion of these issues, for fear that the curtain will be pulled back and it will be revealed to voters that the Tories did nothing with their 14 years in power.

Instead of leaving the country in a better place than it was when they took over, the Tories have left Britain demoralised, run down and divided. Rather than face up to this they focus on gimmicky policy announcements and distracting nonsense. 

We expect the manifestos to be published in a week’s time and then we will get a clearer idea of the differences between the parties. But it is already obvious that people want change and they feel they have given the Tories too many chances already.

While I will do my best to talk to as many residents as possible, I simply won’t be able to talk to everyone given the surprise nature of this election and the short time before polling day on 4 July.

For those I don’t get a chance to speak with, it would be very helpful if you could give your views on the issues you’re concerned about in this election and let me know how you intend to vote, by taking a minute to do this short survey.


A brighter future for Charing Cross

With campaigners outside Charing Cross
With campaigners outside Charing Cross

Fantastic news, as Labour has committed to completing the plans to rebuild London Hospitals, including Charing Cross – if the party wins power.

This is part of the Party’s plan to get the NHS back on its feet and make it fit for the future.

Casting our minds back to 2019, not only did we have a General Election, but we celebrated the success of a 7-year campaign to save Charing Cross Hospital.  This resident-led campaign had been supported by the Labour Council in H&F and by the Labour candidate for Chelsea & Fulham, Ben Coleman.

We were told that Charing Cross, along with Hammersmith and St Mary’s, Paddington, was placed in the Tory Government’s ‘40 new hospitals’ programme with a price tag of £1 billion each for full refurbishment.

Eagle-eyed readers will notice that none of these were new hospitals, but despite this falsehood, local campaigners cheered the fact that the hospitals they had campaigned to save were finally going to get the investment they needed.

Except, of course, they didn’t.

Last year the Tories pulled the funding, which was then reallocated to the hospitals at risk of collapse from defective concrete, leaving our local hospitals in a complete state of disrepair.

You might have thought that local Tory MP Greg Hands would have fought to defend this funding, and lobbied the Government on behalf of the community.

Except, of course, he didn’t.

Instead he claimed that not only was money secured for the rebuild of Charing Cross, while in fact it has been removed, but that he led the call for it.

Labour’s clear and positive announcement on the future of our local hospitals contrasts strongly with the broken promises and falsehoods we’ve endured from the Tories.

Should I be re-elected I will be looking forward to working with a new Labour Government and the new Labour MP for Chelsea & Fulham, Ben Coleman, to securing the best possible future for our hospitals and local NHS.


The first election hustings has been announced, taking place on 23 June at the George IV pub on Chiswick High Road.

This has been organised by the Chiswick Calendar, and candidates from all the main parties have been invited. There will be a £6 entrance fee to cover the cost of hiring the venue. Tickets can be obtained here.

Other hustings are in the pipeline, and I will send out an email with further details when these are confirmed.

The Chiswick Calendar has also published a helpful guide to the changes to the constituency boundaries and other details about the General Election.

If you need to know more about the upcoming elections, including information on registering to vote, or how to sign up for a postal or proxy vote, then your Council’s Electoral services will have the information you need.

Information for residents in Hammersmith & Fulham Borough can be found here.

Information for residents in Hounslow Borough can be found here.

Away from politics

On Thursday, 6 June, we remembered the heroes who took part in the Normandy landings on D-Day and President Biden among others drew parallels to the threats to peace and democracy Europe faces today.

Hammersmith has its own special connection to D-Day. The plans for the landings were draw up at St Paul’s School, then in Hammersmith Road, by Generals Montgomery and Eisenhower and presented to King George VI and Churchill. This Saturday H&F council is putting on an event to commemorate our link to Operation Overlord.

Next weekend is Artists at Home, the biggest annual art event in West London. Scores of local artists across Hammersmith & Chiswick will be displaying – and selling – art of every description. 3 days is barely enough time to see everything exhibited. Not to be missed.

A reminder about the Addison Singers Festival of Music on 29 June.

And lastly, Paul Slade, now in his eighth decade, is walking 25 miles this Saturday to raise money for the Al-Quds Foundation for Medical Schools in Palestine, a charity that trains clinical staff and provides medical education in Palestine.

Given the continuing devastation in Gaza, including attacks on hospitals and medical staff, their work is more difficult and more necessary than ever. I would urge you to sponsor Paul and support this excellent charity.

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