Who am I and WHAT DO I STAND FOR?

 

I'm Jonny Roberts. I'm 30 years old and I currently work in Bracknell (Berkshire) and live in Newbury (Berkshire) with my wife Adriana and our 2-year daughter Valentina. I was honoured to be Labour's candidate for the General Election for Newbury in May 2015. 

About me

I grew up in Aylesbury (Buckinghamshire) and went to a secondary modern school - the abolition of the 11+ continues to be an issue dear to my heart. From the age of 15, I worked part-time for Sainsbury's, throughout my latter years of school and then on through university. My mother, who was born and raised in High Wycombe is a teaching assistant at my old primary school in Stone (near Aylesbury) and my father, who grew up in the historic Labour heartland of Merthyr Tydfil, is retired now but was a supermarket manager. I went to university in Newport, South Wales and studied Film & Video and during my time there I was elected by my fellow students to be Vice-President of the Students' Union. 

Why I'm Labour

I've been a supporter of the Labour Party ever since I first thought about politics. I saw a party that stood for the things I believed in. For helping the poorest, here and abroad; for a liberal stance on social issues, an urgency about tackling climate change and overall a vision for a Britain that is forward-looking.  

How I got involved with the Labour Party and when I moved to Newbury

I joined the party in early 2010 whilst at university, wanting to play a more active part in the General Election campaign. I immediately began supporting my then local Labour MP, the fantastic Paul Flynn, in his successful campaign for re-election, leading the efforts to increase the student vote.  

Shortly after the General Election my wife and I (who had met at university) both graduated together and moved in with her mother and step-father in Newbury so that we could save up for our wedding and a deposit for our own flat. I begun work with a public policy conference company based in Bracknell and she continued to try and break into the advertising industry - facing the injustice of unpaid internships. 

I've been active in Newbury's local party ever since we moved here and I stood in Clay Hill ward, where we then lived, in the Council elections in 2011. I was selected to be the Parliamentary candidate for Newbury in January 2015 and that May we achieved the highest share of the vote for Labour in the constituency since 1979. 

I am also a proud member of the Co-operative Party, Labour Campaign for International Development and the GMB trade union.

Why I'm standing

I was 10 when Labour stormed to power in 1997 so I hadn't really experienced a Conservative government until 2010. I knew I didn't like their policies but could it really be as bad as I feared and I'd heard about? Oh yes. 

The last 7 1/2 years of austerity have left our NHS, social care and our schools on the brink. For the first time in decades crime is rising and life expectancy is falling. Wages haven't risen - especially for our heroes working in the public sector - whilst living costs have been soaring. We've seen the Royal Mail and our stakes in the banks sold off under-value to Tory donors and the green-light given to fracking whilst implementing just about every policy change possible to reverse progress on tackling climate change.

I know how important the NHS is. NHS doctors, surgeons and nurses saved my life when I was only a few weeks old. It was NHS midwives who successfully delivered by daughter when she was born early. Without the NHS I wouldn't be here today and I cannot bear to see what further Tory underfunding do the health service we cherish. More years of privatisation that will further fragment and ultimately ruin the NHS unless Labour can save it whenever the next election comes. We'll need to deliver the money the NHS needs and at the same time how to improve it by fully integrating social care into the NHS. 

I also can't stand how the Tories continue to support a UKIP-esque line of their attack on immigrants. I'm the grandson of an Irish migrant and the husband of a Venezuelan and therefore my daughter is both the great grand daughter and daughter of migrants, I don't want her to grow up in a world where 'immigrant' is a dirty word. Only a Labour government can deliver the investment and pro-worker, pro-community policies that address people's concerns about housing, access to GPs and rising class sizes without embracing the divisive rhetoric of the right - instead making the case for uniting the nation and celebrating the benefits immigration has brought.