I am involved in politics because I believe we were all created equally.
We all have equal worth and government policy should reflect that. That means for example that every child should have a fair start in life and that we do all we can to reduce unemployment. I write and speak on policy issues, particularly economic policy. I wrote the 2011 Fabian Society pamphlet, The Credibility Deficit, how to rebuild Labour's economic reputation.
Chief Investment Officer, Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church and Epworth Investment Management
I manage the investment team of the CFB and Epworth Investment Management Limited (regulated by the FCA), managing funds worth approximately £1.3bn. I am responsible for investment strategy and for the ethical investment approach, and I am a board member of Epworth. The funds include two UK equity portfolios, gilt and corporate bond portfolios, an overseas portfolio and a deposit fund. I am also responsible for the strategy (economic and market analysis). The CFB manages money on behalf of the Methodist Church in Great Britain and Epworth manages money on behalf of other church groups and charities, both on a socially responsible basis. I look at both company finances and at how socially responsible they are. This means I also analyse issues such as human rights, the environment including climate change, employment conditions, executive pay, supply chains, gambling, defence, and alcohol promotion. The role combines finance and the voluntary sector.
Vice Chair, Church Investors Group
I am Vice Chair of the Church Investors Group. The CIG brings together church investing organisations from around the UK. It also has members from church investing bodies in Europe and around the world. Together, it accounts for approximately £21bn of assets under management. We work together on ethical investment issues, engaging with companies and sharing perspectives. Some members (including the CFB) share a voting template for voting at company AGMs on issues such as executive pay, boardroom gender diversity, and climate change.
Chair, Vauxhall Constituency Labour Party (2001 - 2012)
Vauxhall is a constituency with a diverse community and people of all sorts of economic backgrounds. It forms part of the London Borough of Lambeth. I have lived there for over sixteen years. As constituency chair, I worked with our MP, Kate Hoey, and coordinated constituency party activities. We are blessed with some great Labour councillors and activists who were instrumental in winning back Lambeth for Labour in 2006 and gaining more seats in 2010. I have served for many years as Vice Chair of the Lambeth Campaigns Forum (equivalent to a Labour Local Government Committee), responsible for overseeing campaigns and literature.
I continue to serve on Vauxhall CLP's executive committee and represent Vassall Branch on our General Committee.
I was the Labour Parliamentary candidate for Wantage in 2001. I retained Labour's second place position, coming 5,600 (28.2%) votes behind the Conservative candidate.
Unite: the Union
I am a member Unite. I have been a workplace representative for the Faithworkers' branch. I want to see unions representing more working people in the private sector, especially in smaller and medium size businesses where workplace rights are often not recognised in practice.
Political Communications Officer, Christians on the Left
Christians on the Left (formerly the Christian Socialist Movement) is a socialist society affiliated to the Labour Party. It brings together Labour members who share the Christian faith and it acts as a bridge between the Party and churches. I'm responsible for our media output, from the website, to news releases and coordinating media appearances. I have been Vice Chair in the past and led CSM in renewing its statement of values.
Guy's and St Thomas'
I have served as a Governor on the Guys and St Thomas Hospital Trust. This gave me a good insight into how a large hospital trust is run and the challenges it faces.
Archbishop Tenison's School
I have served as a Governor of local school Archbishop Tensions, next to to the Oval cricket ground. This gave me a good perspective on how education policy works its way through to local schools, and some of the challenges schools face.
My political activity started early and at the local level. I served in my early twenties as a Parish Councillor, responsible for an area a bit like a London council ward. I sat on the Finance Committee - and was Chair of the Time Capsule Planning Committee! A parish councillor gets to deal with issues to do with the local environment, such as play areas, bus stops, road signs, youth clubs, parks and verges. That was how my political education began.
Some other things
I am a Cooperative Party member. I'm on the board of Policy Network. I am a Fabian.