Brighton : Labour’s Tom Gray a ‘force to be reckoned with’ Brighton News

Mr Gray was selected as Labour’s candidate for the constituency on Sunday and will seek to flip the Green Party’s only seat in Parliament.

In an exclusive interview with The Argus, the 46-year-old, who lives in Brunswick, Hove, said it was “extraordinary” to have been picked as Labour’s candidate for the election and he was humbled by the response and support he has received from across the party.

He said: “It’s an overwhelming privilege not just to be seen as someone worthy of representing the party and our city but somebody who’s recognised by the wider movement as someone who could help the cause and a great representative for Brighton.

However, he slammed suggestions from his Green opponent Sian Berry that he would be forced to follow a party line and be told how to vote by Keir Starmer.

“It’s such a weak attack line – bless them,” he said.

“Having a Green MP was pretty cool during the Tory government. Caroline Lucas was wonderful, but the idea of forgoing a Labour representative in a Labour government who can work for the city and fight for resources and for the things we need on the ground from the inside? Pull the other one.”

The Argus: Tom Gray has promised to champion the NHS and the climate emergency if electedTom Gray has promised to champion the NHS and the climate emergency if elected (Image: Tom Gray)

Mr Gray said that he had a track record for getting things done on issues he has campaigned on and said: “I hope people realise I am a force to be reckoned with and I will not be another MP on the back benches – I will be someone with a very distinctive voice, who understands this city very well and, unlike Sian [Berry], has lived here for 25 years and feels a deep affinity with the place.”

Along with championing issues such as the state of the NHS and the climate emergency, Mr Gray said he would use his experience as an activist and performer in the music industry to restore the UK’s cultural influence.

He said: “Brighton has an extraordinary number of venues, creative spaces and cultural spaces within it and there’s an extraordinary number of creative freelancers living in the city.

“The creative economy has been outpacing the rest of our industries in this country in terms of growth for a long time.

“The UK is already a cultural superpower but the Conservatives don’t know how to lean into it.

“I can’t wait to have a government that is excited about putting music back in schools, about what British film is and giving our musicians visas to travel.”

Two other parties have announced their candidates for Brighton Pavilion for the general election, with Ashley Ridley for the Liberal Democrats and Carl Buckfield for the Social Democratic Party.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-21 05:00:00

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