If you want change, vote for change : Primesh Patel – South Asia Time

If you want change, vote for change : Primesh Patel

 June 18, 2024  

PRIMESH PATEL has worked in health and social care for nearly two decades. He served as a local Harrow Councillor from 2014 till 2022. He also served as a local school governor at Bentley Wood High School for many years. After being selected as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Harrow East last year, Primesh has been knocking doors of local residents along with his colleagues. He spoke to SOUTH ASIA TIME regarding his ongoing campaign. Excerpts of the interview.

Now that elections are taking place on 4th July, how is your canvassing going on? What type of response are you getting on doorsteps?

We’ve been out on the doors week in, week out since I was selected 15 months ago and all through that time I’ve been struck by the warmth of the reception we’ve had and how consistent the message from voters has been. People are concerned at how hard it is to get a GP appointment, and they’re worries about crime and the rising cost of rents and mortgages. More than anything, there’s a sense that after years of chaos, it’s time for change.

 What is your main agenda for Harrow East?
My message to people here is that they have a choice at the General Election – more chaos and division with the Tories, or hope and unity with a changed Labour Party. In Harrow East that means more police on our streets, growth and economic stability for local businesses, and better, faster services at Belmont walk-in centre and Northwick Park Hospital.

Sir Keir Starmer is asking Britons to vote for change.  How different will the new government be if Labour wins the next election?
This General Election offers the chance for hope and stability in our country after years of chaos under the Tories. We’ve set out what this looks like in Keir Starmer’s First Steps for Change, including 6,500 new teachers to give our kids the best start in life, economic stability with tough spending rules and the creation of Great British Energy to cut bills and carbon emissions.

One of the main concerns of local residents has been long queues at the NHS, incidences of burglary and potholes on the road. How will the Labour party address these problems if people vote you to power?
Labour is committed to cutting NHS waiting times with 40,000 more appointments each week and cutting crime with 13,000 extra police officers and PCSOs – including 1,300 here in London. And when it comes to potholes – such a visible sign of the decline we’ve seen under the Tories – Labour will give local councils the stability and security they need with multi-year funding settlements.

Critics say Labour believes in tax and spend. Where will the money come from to spend in education, health and employment generation?
After 14 years of Conservative Government, working people are facing the highest tax burden in 70 years. That’s why Labour will not raise income tax, national insurance or VAT. Unlike the Tories, we have been clear about how we will pay for our first steps in government: by making the tax system fairer, for instance by closing loopholes for the mega-rich, and introducing a proper windfall tax on the energy giants. And all of our manifesto will be fully costed – no ifs, no buts.

Harrow East is known for ethnic diversity and cultural harmony.  How will you support and promote cultural harmony in your constituency if you get elected?
There’s perhaps no greater responsibility for a Member of Parliament than to promote harmony, co-operation and respect in our community and doing so will always be my first priority. I will do so by supporting all our diverse communities in Harrow East, addressing their concerns and attending community events. I will be an MP for everybody.

How do you see the contributions of the South Asian community in the UK?
The South Asian community contribute to the cultural, intellectual and economic life of this country in so many ways. Our community helped rebuild this country after the war, worked in factories and mills, staffed the NHS, created businesses large and small, transformed Britain’s food culture, created great works of art, and so much more. My own parents came to the UK with little and worked hard to give me the best start in life. I am so proud to be British, and so proud to be of Indian and South Asian descent.

On a personal note, what motivated you to become a full time politician?

Harrow East is my home and there is nowhere else I would want to represent. For me, politics is about service to country and local community. The Conservatives have let Harrow East and the country down. It’s time for change. I want to help people have as much pride in Harrow East as I do and will advocate fiercely for our home and community in Parliament. Labour will fix the NHS, tackle crime, improve our schools and help support local businesses. 

So, what would you like to tell your voters?

I would like to pay tribute to the Nepalese community for their immeasurable contributions to Harrow and the country. It fills me with pride to count so many amongst my friends. I will be an MP for everyone in Harrow East. So, if you want change, vote for change on Thursday, 4th July. Vote Labour.