Hounslow Cabinet member Cllr Tom Bruce chosen as Labour parliamentary candidate for Twickenham

Recently given role of Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council, now selected as Labour candidate in General Election

Councillor Tom Bruce

Hounslow Councillor Tom Bruce has been chosen as the Labour Party Parliamentary candidate for Twickenham.

Council Leader Shantanu Rajawat announced only a week ago at the Hounslow Labour Group of Councillors that the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development would be taking over from Katherine Dunne as Deputy Leader. Now the General Election has been announced, Cllr Bruce has announced his intention to stand for election as an MP.

READ ALSO: Cllr Katherine Dunne dropped as Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council

Tom has been a councillor in Hounslow South for ten years and was Cabinet Member for Education before taking on his current portfolio of Regeneration and Development. He is standing for election in a constituency where Labour came third in the last general election.

The sitting MP, Liberal Democrat Munira Wilson, took over the seat from former Leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Vince Cable in 2019 with a majority of over 14,000. Labour polled only 5,476 votes to the Conservatives’ 22,045 and Lib Dems’ 36,166.

We spoke to Tom about the 2024 General Election campaign.

What is the most important thing for you in this election?

“Getting rid of the Tory Party. For the last five years they have inflicted chaos on the public. The NHS is struggling and at the recent GLA [Greater London Assembly] elections we saw on doorsteps how fed up people are with the government and the constant nonsense. They want change.

“Also school budgets have suffered greatly and the Labour Party can provide the bit of stability the nation needs.”

What do you think will be the key issues at the election?

“The NHS. We need to get it back on its feet. I am very fortunate to say I have a fantastic GP with great service and a wonderful local hospital in West Middlesex. The problem with the NHS is the waiting times people face, there needs to be more staff recruited and all round better service for the public. The people who work in the NHS are fantastic, as are all public sector workers.

“Another key issue is education. School budgets have suffered hugely under the Tory government and we need to recruit more teachers. If the budgets for schools carry on the way they are, then they will be in a deficit. We cannot allow this to happen.”

What are the most important issues to you?

“As a teacher, education is important to me and I’ve seen people are doing a good job in education.

“Inflation is the main issue. We need to get it down and show people that it is worth it to work hard. I hope that with a new government we can provide more opportunities for young people.

“I’ve got three daughters and want to make sure there are opportunities for them. This means people living in a nice place, being able to buy a house and the problem at the moment is this isn’t available for everyone.

“The government haven’t built enough houses which means young people aged between 18-30 aren’t able to purchase their own home. Another issue is public sector cuts which have meant a cut in salaries. People are saying “what more can I do?” The Labour Party plan to support people and get things right. This is similar in local politics, you have a duty to make lives better.”

Why the Labour Party?

“I’ve been a member since I was 14 years old. That’s over 25 years and I guess because my parents were Labour members and supporters. We had discussions when I was young about fairness and equal opportunity and this is what the Labour Party represents. I see everyday what the Labour Party’s politics and values are and that for me represents everybody.

“This is what the country needs.

“There are some key problems that I have already mentioned in the UK right now and I feel that Labour has the answers to these. It won’t take a short amount of time, people will hopefully see results in two/three years. There is no quick fix for the mess the country is in and people might get frustrated but they will realise the Labour Party is the right party.”

What do you hope to achieve as an MP?

“I’ve had conversations with Seema [Malhotra, Labour MP for Feltham and Heston] and Ruth [Cadbury, MP for Brentford and Isleworth] over the last couple of years. They warned me about the frustration faced by going from being in administration at local level, to being in opposition in Parliament.

“I hope to be at the forefront of decision making, similar to my role at the council. I hope to help make national policies that are in place to make it easier for councils and allow them to take more responsibility. My aims at the council will be the same, but just at national level.”

Why Twickenham?

“I’ve taught at Chase Bridge Primary school in Twickenham for a long time. I live in the south of my current ward which neighbours Twickenham. I teach many children from Hounslow and Twickenham and the areas are very close together.

“I know the phrase “parachute candidate” gets thrown around but I know the area very well. I enjoy rugby games at Twickenham Stadium and I think it’s a nice area to go out in with nice restaurants.”

The candidates confirmed for the main parties in the election on 4 July are:

Tom Bruce – Labour Party

Munira Wilson – Liberal Democrats

Chantal Kerr-Sheppard – Green Party

Jonathan Hulley – Conservative Party