This is an election none of us wanted, brought about by the tragic murder of Jo Cox.
No one will ever be able to replace Jo. She was a wonderful person and an outstanding MP. But I promise that if you put your faith in me, I will be a loud, proud and strong local voice speaking up for everyone and every community in Batley and Spen.
I care deeply about Batley and Spen. I was born here and was brought up in a small flat in Birstall. My mum ran Betty’s café in the centre of the village. I went to Brownhill Primary and Heckmondwike Grammar, and have been lucky enough to enjoy a career as an actor and screenwriter.
This area has given me so much – now it’s time for me to give back to my home community.
I’ve been a campaigner and activist for 30 years on issues important to local people, from standing with the miners in the 80s to campaigning alongside Jo Cox last year against the closure of local libraries. I’m now part of the campaign keeping up the fight to save A&E at Dewsbury.
The other main parties are not standing in this election as a mark of respect to Jo. This is a wonderful, unique gesture. I hope you will put party politics to one side and, regardless of whoever you’ve voted for in the past, stand together for hope not division and put your trust in me.
I am the only candidate in this election who can stand up for everyone, bringing our community together rather than dividing it.