I grew up in NW London on a council estate and am the daughter of parents who emigrated from India and Kenya. Education was the foundation of my childhood and was the first woman in my family to go to university. Qualifying in 2005 as a teacher and getting my first teaching job in Smethwick, I moved to Dudley and then Walsall. I moved back to London with my husband and daughter at the end of 2010.
My husband was diagnosed both with bipolar disorder and terminal cancer. Our interactions highlighted the difficulty of our wonderful NHS was in but clinicians never wavered to provide the best care possible. Those experiences motivated me to do all I can to get Labour in government again.
As a teacher and later a school governor, the Tory agenda was in contrast to the progress in education achieved by Labour. The testing regimes put unnecessary strain on the mental health of our children and teachers. I became increasingly frustrated that the Tory agenda for education was less about celebrating each child but more about league tables and exams.
I became a Labour party activist after seeing the damage Tory cuts were doing following the 2010 General Election and soon was elected Chair of my CLP. I was proud to be elected to Brent Council in 2014, and became a Cabinet Member 2016. I have been fortunate to work with a great Labour Group in Brent and am proud of our achievements despite years of brutal austerity.
I joined the party because I want to be part of shaping and improving quality of the life and representation for every community, particularly minorities and those most disadvantaged. I want to improve participation, training and tolerance in our party and will support learning every possible lesson from our past to ensure that we can all go forward together; united in common cause of securing the next Labour Government.