Ever since I declared I was a candidate for MP, I’m chuffed and grateful that party members from every single left-wing party, from the big mainstreams to the smaller minorities, have expressed support for my views and my values.
I’m humbled that so many have got in contact from around the country, knowing me from my human rights campaigning, music and charity fundraising volunteering, to give me advice and offer words of encouragement. But I entirely understand their need to stick with their tribe, energetically campaigning and voting for their parties’ candidates. None of them has been out on the campaign trail with me and all of them have remained loyal to their parties, which I really respect.
My non-alignment, a strong belief in inclusive, cross-party working on the issues that matter, has been my consistent strength for 25 years. My strong independence has been something I have employed in all my elected roles, from student welfare officer in 1992 to running the local Palestine human rights campaigning group between 2009 to 2014. It is even stronger now, despite being deafened by the cry for partisanship by the parties; I can still find individuals from all the parties who want to work together for the common good, not against each other. I have no worries about working cross-party in Parliament too.
My focus is on you, Walthamstow’s constituents: on helping to craft social structures, systems and services that will make lives for all residents better; that are creatively ingenious, sophisticated and efficient but, by being publicly funded, cheaper for everyone to use; that embody humanitarian values, diversity, equality and social cohesion.
I hope you will give me a chance to use my strength to be an independent MP in a hung parliament, to create a better future for Walthamstow through cross-party negotiations, getting the best deal for constituents at a national level.
Vote for Ellie Merton for Walthamstow on Thursday 07 May!
Polling stations open at 7am and close at 10pm. Enjoy voting!