STAFFORD’S Labour Party has selected a new parliamentary candidate for the 2015 General Election.
Kate Godfrey was elected by members of the party at a meeting on Saturday and said, speaking after her selection, she was ‘delighted and honoured’ to have the opportunity to represent the people of the county town.
“The people of Stafford need someone who will work hard to bring jobs and growth to the town,” said Ms Godfrey. “Those will be my top priorities if elected at the next General Election.
Ms Godfrey said it was clear to her the Government was out of touch after listening the last week’s Autumn Statement and accused them of ‘squeezing the living standards of hardworking people’.”
“The Chancellor is pressing ahead with a tax cut for 8,000 millionaires, whilst higher VAT and real terms cuts to working tax credits are hitting people hard,” she said.
The daughter of a local school teacher, Midland-born Ms Godfrey was educated at the local comprehensive school and one of the first people in the area to be given a place at Oxford where she received financial assistance.
“The only time I ever heard my grandmother swear was when I opened the letter offering me my place – both she, and my granddad left school at fourteen,” she said.
After leaving university Ms Godfrey worked as a researcher for the Guardian before leaving the UK to work with the United Nations Development Programme improving housing conditions and supporting service growth in Kiberia, Africa, one of the world’s poorest communities.
Over the next ten years Kate led research projects concentrated on communities, economic regeneration, jobs and housing in more than 40 countries including Iraq, Sudan, Libya and Syria.
“In my thirties I came back to the UK,” she said. “After taking a three-month sabbatical to work for my local candidate over the 2010 election, I’ve supported the [Labour] party through by-elections, at headquarters and in parliament and I looked for the job that would bring me back to the Midlands.”
Ms Godfrey said she was happy now to have come home, but deeply saddened to have returned to a Tory constituency.
“I remember what it was like to grow up in this area under the Tories, and I can see the changes that a Labour government brought to the area,” she said. “Under the Tories we’re going backwards.
“I’m fighting to preserve what people in Stafford have achieved.”