By Grace Lee
Do you know who is representing us, the British-Chinese community in this upcoming election? In this special General Election feature, Nee Hao hopes to reintroduce these two candidates from Chinese for Labour party to readers. In the realm of politics, where Chinese representation is scarce, Vincent Lo and Rebecca Blake are the Labour Party’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs) who hope to represent their constituency, as well as the British-Chinese community for a place in the House of Commons this General Election on 8th June 2017.
Vincent Lo and Rebecca Blake, are two Labour PPCs who are politically active and share a common interest in overturning seven years of Conservative ruling and encouraging the younger generation to take interest or be involved in UK politics; they wish to find new advocates who have the community’s interests at heart. If the British-Chinese community seeks inclusion, representation and respect in the UK, they believe everyone in the community should get out and vote on the big day.
About Vincent Lo (Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Uxbridge & South Ruislip)
Vincent Lo was born and bred in London. His parents came to the UK in the 1970s from Hong Kong, with dreams of building a better life. As would most 1st generation Chinese migrants, his parents went into the catering industry. Vincent went to study at University College London (UCL) and was in the British business and finance industry for about 20 years before taking interest in politics. His interest in politics grew alongside the rising inequality and racism faced at university level and in the industry. Joining Chinese for Labour had allowed him to contribute to the community in his own way and bring awareness to these pressing issues that affects UK as a whole.
At present, Vincent is the Treasurer of Chinese for Labour (headed by Sonny Leong CBE), the Chair of Brent North Constituency Labour Party (CLP) in Wembley and a doctoral researcher in public policy at UCL. However, he may be given a new position this summer. On 8th June 2017, Vincent is destined to have a face off with Boris Johnson, the former Mayor of London and current Foreign Secretary, for a place in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament. Other contenders vying for the seat would be Mark Keir (Green), Lizzy Kemp (UKIP) and Rosina Robson (Liberal Democrat) as well. Conservative won this seat in 2010 and 2015 (Boris Johnson) by a margin of 25% but with the surprising Brexit vote last year, nothing seems to be certain anymore.
During this campaign, Vincent wants to highlight the failings of the current Conservative Government and the cuts they had imposed on our children’s schools, our hospitals (as the recent cyberhacking of the NHS goes to show the lack of funds to upgrade and maintain their IT security systems), our councils and the Government’s mismanagement of the economy. During the ‘Thinking Chinese Conference’ at UCL (2015), Vincent did emphasise, “politics isn’t about winning but achieving a balance in society”. His key concern was seeing further widening between the House and the have-nots, the rich and the poor, and racist attitudes towards the community. With a long history of discrimination, it falls to us, the newer generation to make our voices heard in regards to equal opportunities and equal rights. As someone who values London’s diversity, Vincent believes in an economy that works for all, education and technology to enable more power to the people. He is passionate about creating a fairer society with opportunities for the many, one that is in line with Labour’s matra: “for the many and not for the few”. Vincent too wants UK universities to remain open to all students and to attract the best and brightest talents from around the world.
Vincent encourages everyone, especially the younger people to vote to make the change. By voting for Labour, the party will ensure a sensible Brexit and protection for our economy, jobs, industry, employee rights, environment and public services.
To find out more or contact Vincent:
Email: [email protected]
About Rebecca Blake (Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Redditch)
Rebecca Blake, the eldest of four was born and raised in Redditch, Birmingham. She had rediscovered her Malaysian-Chinese heritage through her work with Chinese for Labour. Being a local to Redditch, Rebecca is both familiar and fond of the constituency, one of the many traits which makes her ideally suited to serve as the Local councillor. In this General Election, Rebecca will be competing with Rachel Maclean (Conservative), Susan Juned (Liberal Democrat), Neal Stote (National Health Action), Paul Swansborough (UKIP), Kevin White (Green) and Sally Woodhall (Independent) for the seat. It appears she may have a fair chance at getting elected this General Election.
During these seven years of Conservative Government, UK has seen a rise in homelessness and soaring property prices that put homeownership all time low since the 1980s. With her experience as a Borough Councillor and a candidate for the same constituency during the General Elections in 2015, Rebecca sees the Alexandra Hospital cuts and housing crisis as major problems within her constituency. Rebecca believes that the constituency is “getting a raw deal” under the current government. She has seen how the cuts on their local hospital have created a domino chain effect on local schools, local businesses and local communities. Furthermore, with these unfavourable hospital cuts made on the fastest growing town in the county, residents may be forced to go to Worcester (26 miles away) to get medical treatment. Redditch is also the town that has the least car ownership within the county. With these issues at hand, Rebecca has been fighting alongside the local campaigners to keep this hospital going. If elected as MP, she vows to fight for services (e.g. maternity, A&E) and better healthcare designed around the community. This British-Chinese candidate also pledges to fight for a better deal for Redditch and it begins by voting for Labour.
This is Rebecca’s pledge for the Redditch constituency:
- To continue fighting with local campaigners for services to remain at the Alex Hospital
- To continue representing the views of parents in the school changes review initiated by Tudor Grange Academy
- Where she see statutory services not fit for purpose, she will use the power invested in her as your local representative to improve them.
- To bring people together who want to work for a better Redditch to maximise the power of local people
To find out more or contact Rebecca:
Email: [email protected]