Representing the people of Bishop Auckland, Barnard Castle, Spennymoor, Shildon and the surrounding areas who see too little benefit from 100 years of rule in the North East by Labour MPs and Councillors and who want to see positivity return to our wonderful part of the world.
Standing up for those Leave voters both in the constituency and nationally who are disillusioned by the behaviour of the traditional parties, who feel their voices are unheard and that there is a sickness at the heart of UK politics.
Politics is broken! Let's fix it!
I was born, raised and now live near Bishop Auckland, attending school at Etherley Lane Junior and Infants in Bishop Auckland and then Barnard Castle School where I obtained a scholarship, before heading off to Cambridge University to study Law.
Over the course of 24 years I've worked as a Lead Software Consultant for Tech Startups, Management Consultants, Government (including in Theresa May's dysfunctional Home Office!), Venture Capitalists, Global Software and Consultancy Companies, Telecoms Providers and (New) Media Companies in locations as diverse as New Zealand, Germany, Denmark, India, Singapore, Switzerland, the USA and Canada, as well as across the UK. Most recently I was Chief Technology Officer of a high-profile German blockchain startup as well as founding a number of related software startups.
Before my IT career, I also had stints as a barman (Coopers Inn in Bishop and what was The Otter at Toft Hill), a holiday-rep in Ibiza, a door-to-door encyclopaedia salesman in the US, a legal secretary, a kitchen and bathroom salesman and a landscape gardner.
Having lived and worked all over the world and across a range of industries, means that I have a far greater breadth-of-life experience to draw on than the majority of the “career politicians” currently elected or seeking election.
Since returning two years ago to Bishop Auckland I've thrown myself into improving the profile and prospects of the area, whether by volunteering to help local community associations, talking to local businesses about joint ventures and advising a number of local startups, as well as giving talks to students on the subjects of technology and business. I also actively promote Bishop Auckland as a core member of the BA Town Team, as well as the wider area through helping BishopFM. I am Secretary of Witton Park Community Association.
Despite my short time in politics (only the last six months) I have a demonstrable record of achieving change in our local community. As Spokesperson for the Save Witton Park Bridge Campaign. After having a vital local resource closed without consultation for over a year, in the space of 3 months we successfully lobbied Durham County Council for the replacement of a vital local resource.
I would describe myself as “honest and a good bloke you’d be happy to have a drink with”.
I've chosen to take a step-back from my usual job as a Chief Technology Officer in order to represent the Brexit Party because like many “normal” people I’ve realised that we can't trust our current crop of politicians to do what we asked them to do. Rather than telling us how to think, politicians and unelected bureaucrats at all levels need to become more accountable for their actions in order for democracy to start functioning properly. Here in the North East I’ve seen first-hand how repeatedly voting for Labour has failed to bring any benefits to my wonderful home region — I’m looking forward to shaking this failed tree, both locally and in Westminster. Most importantly, I’m making a commitment to those in my constituency whom I’ve grown up with and lived my life with — I give you an unswerving commitment that your voices will finally be heard.
I only came into politics because of Brexit; I've believed passionately for many years that the UK was better off outside the EU. When Leave won the referendum, like many I expected the EU to negotiate aggressively (and understandably so — Brexit threatens them) but I never once thought we would see the complete capitulation and denigration of the UK exhibited by almost the entirety of our political and media class. Brexit hasn't been THE problem in British politics in the past few years, it is a SYMPTOM of the problem. Whether it's the MPs expenses scandal, a grand-standing and non-neutral Speaker of the House, an utterly out-of-touch House of Lords, the unheard-of intervention by the judges of the Supreme Court into political matters, the lack of a written constitution (and a willingness to destroy precedent), the ridiculous unfairness of the First-Past-The-Post voting system and the general shambles of Brexit making a mockery of us across the world, all of these examples show how wrong politics is in this country.
People accuse the Brexit Party of being a single-issue party (which is incorrect) — my response to them is that how can we have a fair and decent game when the rules keep changing and the referee is playing for the other side? We must reform politics to ensure we can effect meaningful change in other policy areas!
Much of what I intend to offer the local community can be seen on my What I Pledge page and revolves around my providing a much better experience when interacting with your MP. However I do also have some specific local areas of interest as follows:
Q: As a member of a brand-new party, how can you win in BA? A: Labour and the Tories each polled 20K votes last time. Each party loses 1-2K of their Remain voters to the Liberal Democrats. The Tories don't get the benefit of the 7K 2015 UKIP votes (which they received in 2017 and which instead go to the Brexit Party) and Labour lose 1/3rd of their vote also to the Brexit Party (for Leave, anti-Helen, hate-the-Tories reasons). This leaves Brexit Party 14K, Lab and Con 13K. A tie? Give it to the only local candidate (me). Now you can fairly question that these numbers don't stack up for this or that reason but my point still stands — this is a reasonable and achievable route to victory.
Q: Won't you just split the vote in BA? A: The Tories claim that they only need a few hundred to change. - this assumes their vote will stay the same - lost many to T May + the UKIP perspective
Q: Why should I even vote? They'll only ignore it anyway. A: Maybe you've voted Labour in past parliamentary elections and seen them do nothing for the North East except take you and your vote for granted? Maybe you voted Leave in the referendum and then saw the way that Parliament and the Establishment has behaved, MPs deliberately placing obstacles in the way of Britain's exit, in collusion with a civil service that sees itself as the true rulers of the country, and a media more interested in telling you what you can and cannot discuss. If you've seen this, then this vote is arguably the most important vote you will ever cast because this is when we start to take the fight to those who have ignored you. Voting for the traditional parties is the real wasted vote because we've seen how we can't trust them to deliver on any of their promises.
Q: The incumbent MP in BA claims she has honoured the referendum result — do you agree? A: You can see her voting record here but the short answer is "No!".
Q: Why do you dislike First-Past-The-Post voting aside from the fact that it results in Tactical Voting and is the real reason for "splitting the vote"? A: There are 2 arguments for FPTP: 1) Results in a "strong" government and 2) Enables representation by local people. FPTP has failed on 1) since 2010 and 2) just review recent Tory and Lab nominations — you'll struggle to find any candidates from the region they represent!
Q: Why do you say that Boris' "deal" isn't Brexit? A: Firstly, it's a new EU treaty, not a deal. Secondly, it would still leave us under ECJ jurisdiction, leave control of our fisheries with the EU, hand over £39-65Bn and prevent us from signing trade deals (should we negotiate the Free Trade Agreement outlined in the Political Declaration). And I can assure you — it will not be the end of Brexit, simply the beginning!
If elected to represent the Bishop Auckland constituency, I pledge: