It will be a 'tough job' as an MP says Lib Dem candidate for Brent Central
PUBLISHED: 13:45 16 January 2014 | UPDATED: 13:45 16 January 2014
The Liberal Democrats candidate for the hotly contested Brent Central seat admits it will be a tough job if he holds on to the constituency in the next General Election.
Ibrahim Taguri was named last month as the successor to Sarah Teather, who will step down from the marginal seat in 2015.
The married politician, who lives with his wife in North Ealing, was born in the borough and grew up in Willesden Green
He said: “It would be a tough job but growing up in the borough, I know the issues and problems the borough faces.
“I grew up with a passion for the community and for helping people. I understand local residents’ concerns.”
A former chief fundraiser for the Lib Dems, Mr Taguri has worked in the charity sector since 2000 – including with art charities which give children from disadvantaged backgrounds learning opportunites.
Adding that he has a “genuine drive” to give back to the community, he said: “This is my prime motivation. I have been helping people for a very long time and this is another way of doing that.”
Two of the biggest issues he believes need to be tackled in Brent are crime and the state of the borough’s streets.
“You can’t even walk the streets without stumbling across rubbish, “he said.
“Fly tipping and rubbish on streets is a huge problem, and the closure of police stations and reports of gang-related fatalities doesn’t make you feel very safe.”
However he believes the government has done a “great” job to tackle the nation’s issues – “when you consider the difficult state of economic crisis inherited from the previous Labour government.”
He adds: “The biggest challenge is to balance the economy in the fairest way possible and I think we have done that.”
“The biggest achievement by the Lib Dems was delivering the tax cuts, which was in our manifesto.”
Mr Taguri faces stiff competition from Labour candidate Dawn Butler – who held the Labour-stronghold seat of Brent South until 2010 when boundary changes resulted in the formation of Brent Central constituency.
The former Minister for Young Citizens and Youth Engagement lost the seat to her political rival, who overturned a notional majority of 7,000 with an 11 per cent swing to the Liberal Democrats.
Ms Butler received a barrage of criticism for claiming just under the full £23,000 annual second home allowance, despite her other home in Stratford being the same distance from Parliament as her Wembley home.
However, she was exonerated of any wrongdoing.
Describing Ms Butler’s reselection as “bizarre”, Mr Taguri said: “Dawn had her time and demonstrated what she is about.
“Sarah has been an excellent MP and she will be missed.
“The time has now come for her to take a different direction, but she can be very proud of what she has achieved.”