I actually met Ian at the same time as I met Julian, at the Labour Party conference in 2012. And when I moved to Southend a few years later he was my councillor for the first year I lived here.
Honestly, voting for Ian is a bit of a no-brainer. He is the only progressive candidate on the ballot paper who has a hope of unseating James Duddridge. But even he he wasn’t, he would be my choice.
If you want an MP who is out for themselves, to climb the career ladder, then vote for Tory James Duddridge. If you want an MP who will fluster and shout, but ultimately be out of his depth, then vote for the Green candidate
Cross Simon Simon Cross. If you want an MP who likely won’t even turn up, and not say anything even when he does, then UKIP’s Floyd Waterworth is your man. If you want… Actually, I can’t think of who exactly would want a Liberal Democrat MP…
Ian is a man with a record. As leader of the Labour group in Southend he has not only led the party into administration, but succeeded in building the first council house in the borough since the 1980s, keeping paid staff in libraries, saving care homes from closure, and all under the cloud of a £11m cut from the Tory-led government.
A vote for Ian represents a chance to put an end to the cruelty of the coalition’s policies, to move towards a better future for the people not only of Southend, by the whole United Kingdom. Ian is a compassionate man, and a commensurate hard-worker. I know that he would make a fantastic MP, and so I urge you to do as I will be doing, and cast your vote for Ian Gilbert in Rochford & Southend East.