This piece was first published in the Peterborough Telegraph on April 9th 2019
I am delighted to have been selected as Labour’s candidate to stand for election to represent the great people of Peterborough in Parliament, writes Lisa Forbes.
I am Peterborough through and through. As a mum of four, I’ve lived here for 30 years and it’s where I raised my family. I’m proud of Peterborough and would be prouder still to represent the people of the city I love in Westminster. That’s why I stood for Labour here in the 2015 General Election.
But it’s fair to say, the circumstances in which I’ve chosen to stand again could undoubtedly have been better. I and other Labour members worked tirelessly to get our candidate Fiona Onasanya elected. So when the news broke that Fiona was to face trial for perverting the course of justice, we watched on in despair as someone we worked so hard for, lied and let us down.
I fully understand why people are angry because I am too. With trust in politicians already at a low ebb, this whole sorry debacle has made matters worse. I certainly couldn’t explain to my daughter how our MP was allowed to keep her job from inside a prison cell. It feels like one rule for them, and one for the rest of us.
It was absolutely right the Labour Party immediately expelled Fiona following her conviction last December and we continued to call for her to do the decent thing and resign. Now she has lost her appeal against conviction, you have the chance in the next few weeks to sign a recall petition to remove her as your MP. It will require over seven thousand signatures. Labour will actively work with you to make sure the petition is successful so we can have a by-election to give this city a fresh start. The people of Peterborough will then have the chance to elect a Member of Parliament that they can be proud of.
In 2017, Peterborough people voted for a Labour MP to be their champion in the House of Commons. The issues that people voted on haven’t changed. In fact, they have become much worse with this Government’s bodging of Brexit and its damaging policy of cuts to our police and schools.
Years of Conservative austerity and swingeing cuts to our council’s budget have decimated public services in this city. The fabric of our society which should be there to protect and hold our communities together has been torn apart by the Conservatives so that it no longer safeguards the most vulnerable, and those in work struggling to pay the bills and put food on the table.
With a heartless Conservative government and an incompetent Tory council that may have unlawfully spent £23million from selling public spaces just to balance its books, and has spectacularly failed to tackle fly-tipping, the last thing Peterborough needs is a Conservative MP to add to that misery.
I promise if elected I will be the hard-working MP that this city needs. So over the coming months, I will make it my mission to rebuild trust in politicians doorstep by doorstep. Because you deserve so much better, and I’m determined to deliver for you.