Camden councillor Tulip Siddiq selected as Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn
- Credit: Archant
Election process was marred by a brawl outside
Her parents were married in Kilburn Town Hall and she has lived in Brent for fifteen years, now Camden councillor Tulip Siddiq will represent Hampstead and Kilburn in 2015 as Labour’s newly elected parliamentary candidate.
The 30-year-old won the election last night at the Mazenod Social Club in Kilburn, following Glenda Jackson’s announcement of her retirement in January this year.
She confessed to feeling “overwhelmed, humbled and proud” at what she said was a “decisive win”.
“I was quietly confident because this is my local constituency and I’ve lived here for 15 years but my two opponents were formidable – I didn’t have it easy that’s for sure,” said Ms Siddiq.
Described by Tory councillors as “small but feisty” for her stance on cuts, the cabinet member for communities and culture has already begun setting out her plans to tackle school places, loan sharks and the dismantling of the NHS.
Today she will meet leader of the council Muhammed Butt to discuss a Fair Credit Commission the council are setting up to deal with loan sharks on Kilburn High Road.
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“I want to hear what we can do because payday lenders are trapping our most vulnerable residents into a vicious cycle of debt,” she said.
Ms Siddiq is also keen to get her teeth into regeneration in South Kilburn and has been working with Cllr Mary Arnold to provide a long-awaited Healthy Living Centre.
But perhaps the NHS is perhaps her biggest focus, informed my first-hand experience of what state healthcare means for those who need it.
“My father is disabled and if it wasn’t for the NHS he wouldn’t be alive today,” she said, adding: “The NHS is the reason I joined the Labour party.”
Ms Siddiq is determined to stand against the planned closure of accident and emergency at Central Middlesex Hospital, spurred on by Muhammed Butt’s call to action last week at a Unison meeting.
“We need to be strong about the dismantling of the NHS. When I start working with Muhammed I will bring up what we do to strengthen our campaign. Labour councillors have done a fantastic job but I’m gong to join hands with them,” Ms Siddiq said.
She is also gearing up to defend another state service –education.
I know school places have been an issue for parents in Brent and we’ve to expand the schools in Brent otherwise where will they go,” she said.
“Camden’s schools are the best in the country and they’re all under local authority control so I don’t see why we can t expand the schools under local authority control in Brent. I don’t think free schools are the answer because they’re not bound by a regulatory framework,” she said.
Ms Siddiq knows she has a hard fight ahead but says she is ready to take on Conservative opponent Simon Marcus, who she is used to facing at council meetings.
“I think bring it on,” she said, “I look forward to challenging him at the hustings. I’ve already had some banter with him on the local chamber and I’d say I’m quite comfortable taking him on.”
The seat was the second tightest in the country in 2010, when Glenda Jackson took the reigns, but Ms Siddiq said the current mood was very different.
“Last time we didn’t have a very good election but now that the Tories have had a chance to be in government and demonstrate what they’re incapable of, I think it will be a different story,” she said.
“The Tories are ruining the country and economy and unemployment is on the rise, [voters] will look to vote for a party who will repair the county and economy and I will work very hard to represent my constituency at a national level.”
Events took a dramatic turn at the hall when police and paramedics were called after a man was head butted in a brawl outside at around 3pm.
A police spokesman told the Times: “On arrival police found a 53-year-old male being treated by LAS who told them he had been head butted which caused him to fall and bang his head on the ground.
“Although the suspect, a 58-year-old male, was identified the victim was adamant that he did not want him arrested or charged and did not want to take the matter any further.
“The suspect was spoken to by police at his home address.
“No arrest made and no further investigation.”