I am really pleased to have been selected as the Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Watford. Local party members voted for me on Friday night at a hustings event, where I was up against two very credible candidates. It was a great contest and is a huge privilege to be chosen.
Rather excitingly, following the announcement of my selection, several bookmakers have now ranked the Liberal Democrats favourite to win the seat ahead of Labour and the sitting Conservative. Paddypower had odds of 11/10 this morning! I’d told my husband he should have put a bet on, but he is neither a betting man, nor one to assume anything!
I have always wanted to be Watford’s MP and while the timing wasn’t ideal with me already having started the next mayoral term, I realised that it was probably now or never so it was time to take the plunge. It’s been a long long time since our Westminster representative has actually been a local Watford person – for me they have more been about representing Westminster in Watford. But I’m not a career politician – I’m a Watford politician – so for me the job would be very much about representing Watford in Westminster.
Our town needs someone who will back our new Health Campus plans, complete the Croxley Rail link and ensure that Watford and Three Rivers area gets a fair deal. I hope my track record for the last 12 years as Mayor gives Watford residents the confidence that I will deliver for them as MP too.
If I am successful I will stay on as Mayor for a year – like Boris Johnson intends to and Ken Livingstone did in London – rather than force a costly by-election. This will enable all the political parties and residents to decide who they want as the new Mayor. I will delegate more duties to others in Watford and so will not take the full Mayoral salary. After all, many MPs have other jobs – some are Ministers and many run or own businesses, so this is really no different.