Parliamentary candidates for Harrow West have said why you should vote for them.

Current Labour MP Gareth Thomas will be standing for the Labour and Co-operative party in the General Election on December 12 alongside Anwara Ali for Conservatives, Lisa-Maria for the Liberal Democrats, Richard Jones for the Brexit Party and Rowan Langley for the Green Party.

Below is what they had to say ahead of the Election.

Gareth Thomas – Labour and Co-operative

Harrow Times:

Gareth grew up in Priory Way and went to Pinner Park School and Hatch End High School. He lives in Harrow with his partner and their two young children.

As a former teacher, Gareth is acutely aware of the strain local schools in Harrow West have been put under following the £32 million of cuts, by the Government, since 2015.

Gareth has been a vocal campaigner for a People’s Vote and was the first Member of Parliament to propose legislation calling for one in the House. He is supported by all five of the pro-remain tactical voting websites.

Gareth is deeply concerned about the closures of our valuable walk-in services across Harrow, and is campaigning tirelessly for them to be re-opened, to ease the strain on Northwick Park Hospital.

On crime and anti-social behaviour, Gareth is calling for greater funding for our Police and pledges to push for the re-introduction of local neighbourhood policing.

Locally, Gareth has fought to protect Harrow’s precious green spaces and helped to secure funding for Headstone Manor. Gareth is also calling for the regeneration of our town centres and for more affordable housing to be made available in Harrow.

In Westminster, Gareth was instrumental in establishing the Labour Friends of India group in Parliament, which he went on to Chair. He has recently been campaigning for Diwali and Eid to be recognised as national public holidays and ran the campaign to retain GCSE and A-Level exams in languages such as Gujarati.

Working with Whitmore High School, Gareth has established a partnership with universities including Oxbridge and Harvard to hold an annual university fair, now in its fourth year, which aims to even the playing field to provide our students with some of the same opportunities as their privately educated peers.

Anwara Ali – Conservative

Harrow Times:

Anwara Ali is an NHS GP, former Mayoral candidate and councillor, businesswoman, wife and mother.

She lived in London for 45 years and became the first doctor in her state school to. When she was a councillor at Tower Hamlets, she addressed critical issues in her community such as obesity and homelessness.

When she worked as a doctor in Northwick Park Hospital, she remembered the amount of greenery in Harrow which is now gone.

In the 2018 New Year Honours list she was awarded an MBE for services to Community Healthcare and received a British Community Award.

Issues she hopes to tackle is rising crime rates, fly-tipping, high-rise developments and the closing NHS clinics and the loss of green space.

She said: “Residents have a real choice in this election to vote for status quo by Gareth with his empty promises for the past 20 years has failed to deliver any transformative or tangible change to Harrow West, or you can vote for Dr Anwara Ali with a proven track record of delivery in the community, civic sphere and in business, who has secured millions of pounds from central government funding to improve lives of Londoners.

“Gareth has overplayed the local boy card for far too long! I will work with a Conservative government to deliver more police, teachers, GPs and support for local businesses in Harrow West. If elected I will live and retire in Harrow West. Residents have told me they want deeds not words.”

Richard Jones – Brexit Party

Harrow Times:

Richard Jones, from Maidenhead, is now retired but in his past was the owner of a consultancy providing Due Diligence for Private Equity clients.

The candidate is a father of three adults and has a very extensive history. He joined the RAF in the 1980s as a commissioned officer. His final posting was based in Northwood from 1995 until he left the services in 1999.

After he left the RAF, he worked as a senior manager in the technology division for the John Lewis Partnership. He then formed his consultancy until he retired in 2019.

He said: “I am proud to be standing for the Brexit Party, it draws support from all sections of society and across the political spectrum.

“If elected, I will represent the constituents in Harrow West with all my energy, irrespective of political affiliations and will do my very best to promote investment in the community and constituency.

“A vote for the Brexit Party is a vote to change politics for good. The first past the post electoral system is no longer fit for purpose. It encourages tactical voting, which cannot be right in a mature democracy, and even more disheartening it encourages many not to vote as they think their vote is wasted.”

Mr Jones claims to have an active role in local life, including being part of the management board for a pub and being involved with local choirs and being a member of a golf club.

Lisa-Maria Bornemann – Liberal Democrat

Harrow Times: Lisa-Maria Bornemann standing for Liberal DemocratsLisa-Maria Bornemann standing for Liberal Democrats

Lisa-Maria moved to the UK from Germany and works as a team manager in the public sector, where she is involved in her employer’s LGBT+ and Mental Health First Aiders networks. She lives in central Harrow.

She joined the Liberal Democrats after the 2015 general election, realising that if she wanted things to change, she needed to get involved. She believes in creating a society that is open and welcoming to everyone, no matter where they come from, what they believe in and who they love.

Lisa-Maria was among the founding members of Liberal Democrat Immigrants and has been Chair since. Lib Dem Immigrants promotes the rights and interests of people who have come to the UK from all over the world and made it their home.

Lisa-Maria is dismayed by the anti-immigrant sentiment stirred up by the Brexit referendum. She says:

“Every day, people in Harrow tell me they’re sick of the Brexit chaos, which has turned our country into a laughingstock. They want it all to stop.

Any kind of Brexit, whether it’s a Conservative Brexit or a Labour Brexit, will mean decades of negotiations, while we all grow poorer.

A Liberal Democrat majority government will revoke Article 50 on day one, so we can focus on the other important issues our country is facing: We will tackle the climate crisis and the rise in knife crime, and we will properly fund our public services.

A vote for me is a vote to stop Brexit and build a brighter future for Harrow.”

Rowan Langley – Green Party

Harrow Times: Rowan Langley standing for the Green PartyRowan Langley standing for the Green Party

Rowan Langley moved to Harrow from Yorkshire in 1997. He is an electrical engineer and worked for large organisations and run his own business.

Langley did not get back to the Harrow Times with a comment for his profile, but on the Harrow Green page he said: “People have been led down time and time again. From the closure of our libraries and A&E wards to the privatisation of schools and council services. From the displacement of communities from social housing to the eviction of families due to the bedroom tax. All the big three parties are responsible.”

"The Green New Deal has a comprehensive ten-year plan to tackle climate and ecological breakdown at the scale and speed set out by science.

"It will deliver a fast and fair transformation of our economy and society, renewing almost every aspect of life in the UK: from the way we produce and consume energy, to the way in which we grow the food we eat, and how we work, travel, and heat our homes.

"This will be a combined investment of over £100 billion a year in the Green New Deal, with an additional investment in Universal Basic Income. Through this investment, we will provide new opportunities for everyone to work and live more sustainably and more securely.

"So how does this impact on Harrow? Harrow Council has recognised that we are in a climate crisis, but has yet to specify what it will do to address the issues being raised.

"The Green Party wants to see improvements in the quality of existing housing and commercial properties to improve energy efficiency. In addition we want to change the planning process to incentivise improvements to existing buildings rather than relying on new builds, which should also meet the Passivhaus standards as a minimum."