I’m David Taylor, and I’m standing as Labour’s candidate in Hemel Hempstead.
My roots are in Hemel. My parents grew up here, on Chaulden Terrace and Pentland in Highfield, met and got married in Hemel. My Nan lives in Adeyfield and my aunt and uncle and cousins in Grovehill.
Hemel has always been a place of promise. Like many families escaping poor or bombed out housing, my grandparents on both sides moved out here after the second war. This new town was one of Labour’s finest achievements – providing our families with decent housing, jobs, schools and healthcare.
But this promise of a better future has been stifled by the Tories in the decades since. My family experienced that first hand. My mum, a lab technician in Kings Langley and then Buncefield, was made redundant in the wake of the 1992 recession, so I know what it’s like to worry about the gas bill, the price of the weekly shop, and how to pay the mortgage. It fell to my mum to care for my nan when she first got dementia, and she had to fight the council every step of the way to get her into her care home in Adeyfield so she got the dignity she deserved.
Those experiences made me Labour. I’ve dedicated my life to fighting poverty and inequality at home and abroad. That journey started 20 years ago when I represented Hemel in the UK Youth Parliament, and along the way I’ve worked for international charities such as Oxfam, fighting for human rights from Syria to Yemen, and pushing for change at the UN and at global climate talks. Right now in my day job, I fight for trade justice, so workers and co-operatives in some of the poorest places in the world get a fair wage and fair price.
But charity only takes you so far. I know that it’s politics and political choices that really make the biggest difference. I’m proud to have been an adviser to Gordon Brown and to serve our party as the founder of the Labour Campaign for International Development. I’ve been at the heart of efforts when our movement has saved and changed millions of lives - and helped pass a law that protected our international aid budget from Tory cuts. I’ve campaigned for Labour governments for nearly twenty years, knocking on doors in some of the toughest, most marginal seats around the country.
And I’ve been using those experiences to fight for change here in Hemel. At the council elections in May, I built and led a team that turned Adeyfield East from a safe Tory ward into a marginal, helping my running mate Barbara Pesch be elected and coming within 34 votes of ousting the Tories’ own leader in Dacorum himself. I’ve also been meeting with community groups across Hemel to understand what more we can do to help people through the worst cost of living crisis in living memory.
As your candidate and MP, I will work with all of you for a Hemel that fulfils its founding promise and is the best possible place to live, work, bring up a family and grow old in.
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