James Osben has been successfully selected as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Labour in Newton Abbot. James stood in the 2017 general election in Newton Abbot which saw Labour come second with a positive 12% swing in the vote share.
James said “I am privileged and honoured to have the opportunity to represent the people of Newton Abbot. We need an MP that represents everybody and a government that will make a difference for ordinary people. The Labour Party is the only party with policies which will do this.
We have seen the fallout from a decade of austerity, a political choice by both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, which has resulted in a significant increase in poverty, a drop in life expectancy in some parts of the UK, and shockingly, people actually losing their lives. Whether through desperate poverty and illness or through suicide.
The majority of people in the UK have paid the price for the financial crash, when those responsible for causing it, have not. The very rich have got richer while everybody else has faced cuts in pay, increasing bills, loss of family and child support services, and many have been forced into a situation where they need to access foodbanks and ‘in work benefits’. It has driven some people to suicide. Like Philip Herron, a 34 year old single father who couldn’t see a way through the mountains of debt he was in and on top of this, he had not heard anything back about his Universal Credit application, one month on from applying.
As a mental health nurse in the NHS I have seen people relapse due to the stress and anxiety of the benefits application process. Very unwell and very vulnerable people are made to jump through hoops to obtain financial support they desperately need. It haunts me to think of the number of isolated and lonely people out there, who have no support and who are too anxious and too unwell to complete the application process. As your MP and as part of a Labour Government I will put an end to this punitive and hostile benefits system and make sure that people who need help get it.
Jeff Hayward, deemed ‘fit-to-work’ won his appeal against the DWP, seven months after he died of a heart attack. He and his family should not have had to spend the last few months of his life battling for funding he was entitled to receive. Many people have been found ‘fit-to-work’ and subsequently won their appeal.
We have seen people affected across this Constituency by the ‘hostile’ benefits system and if it wasn’t for local organisations like TeignAid, then I am sure many more people would be homeless, without financial support and might even have considered suicide. TeignAid is all credit to Labour Party and Unite Community activists Bruce Mattock, Jane Haden, Marilyn Warrener and Stella Mackie, who have tirelessly helped people across the constituency. Thank you to all of you.
Over 300 NHS nurses have died by suicide in just seven years. My colleagues and those who have devoted themselves to a life of helping others, have been, and are being failed by the government. The Care Quality Commission and the Royal College of Nursing recognise that services are overstretched, overworked and under resourced. Labour will change this and I will be an advocate for that change. I have actively campaigned against the closure of our local hospital in Teignmouth and will continue to stand up for our local services.
Infant mortality rates in the UK have risen for the third consecutive year, hitting the poorest communities hardest. Professor Russell Viner of The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said “Infants are more than twice as likely to die in England and Wales if they are born to a poor family rather than a wealthy one, and the gap is widening.” This is utterly heart breaking and it can’t be ignored. Austerity is the cause of rising child poverty, deprivation and severe inequality.
We are failing nationally and globally to prevent a climate catastrophe. I fully support Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion, who are opening our eyes. We cannot afford to wait. Our future depends on it. The future of life on Earth as we know it, depends on it. I welcome and fully support the Labour Party’s policy on instigating a green industrial revolution. The changes must happen now, they must be radical and far reaching, if we are to make a difference. I pledge to lead the way in our constituency.
As your MP my ambition will be to see a society where nobody is left behind. Where we all have access to healthcare, where that healthcare system is not under strain, where everybody has access to a good education following their dreams and interests without restriction or limitation. Where we eliminate poverty and where the elderly, ill and vulnerable are not penalised but supported by a caring and compassionate society.”