I'm proud of my family's coal-mining heritage, with my grandfather moving his family from Abertillery in 1945 to seek better employment in the Kent coal-mines. My Mum and Dad met during a Labour Party social before marrying, and I lived a very happy childhood in Essex with my sister and three brothers.
Joining the Royal Navy at 18, I had an incredibly diverse career in the UK and overseas in conflicts from the Falklands, through the Cold War and in Kuwait in '91, and finally to the Iraq War of 2003. I also served in the Ministry of Defence and as Defence Attaché in the British Embassy Tokyo before a final appointment in command of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Reserves, completing my career in 2013. Like my father I'd married at 22, and with our 3 children and 2 grandchildren my wife and I will be celebrating '40 years' in 2020.
Seeing Labour defeated in 2015, I was determined to play a role in bringing us back to power and working to create a fairer society, so I re-joined the Party after a 40-year absence.
Coming very close to being elected as Devon and Cornwall's Police and Crime Commissioner in 2016, I have been continuously engaged on policing, crime and justice issues throughout the south-west and nationally. I was elected as a Plymouth City Councillor in 2018 and I've built a reputation for an honest and practical approach to challenging the damaging politically driven agenda of recent years and presenting an alternative way forward. It's now time for me to take the lead with my plans to restore effective policing and provide leadership with integrity. I'm proud to be ready to serve again.
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