I’m 26-years old, which is pretty unusual for a parliamentary candidate.
My decision to stand for parliament has been inspired by my experiences of being a young person living in David Cameron’s Britain; a Britain that is far too unequal and where too often, opportunities are placed in the hands of just a few people, at the expense of the many.
It’s not the kind of country I want to live in and I want to play my part in changing it.
I’m someone who wants every person; no matter their nationality, their religion, their accent, their physical or mental disabilities, or how much money their parents have in the bank, to have every possible opportunity to live the life they envisage for themselves.
That isn’t happening at the moment and it may get worse if David Cameron is allowed another five years as Prime Minister.
From trebling tuition fees, to sky high rents, unaffordable deposits for first time buyers, to work experience placements cynically rebranded as apprenticeships, to intolerably wages, zero hours contracts…I cannot remember a time when Westminster has watched so many young people struggle and done so little to help them get back up on their feet.
I’m here today to tell you that it doesn’t have to be like this.
That on May 7th, you can vote for me; an Essex boy who has lived in Basildon since 2004, who became the first man in his family to attend university because of the last Labour government and who wants to be an MP so I can champion young people like you and I and ensure our futures are bright.
In 2012 I worked on President Obama’s re-election campaign in Ohio. The day before polling day, he told us that elections are about two things; the future and hope.
Over the next hour, my opponents will tell you why a politics of fear, of in some cases pure hated and a politics of obfuscation should replace a politics that gives every person in this room reason to be hopeful for their futures.
I disagree with that.
If you do too, then back Labour.