16th Dec, 2017

Lib Dem Haseeb Arif

Leamington Editorial 27th Mar, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

I WAS born and raised in Leamington Spa, and have called this town home all my life. I went to Cubbington Church of England primary school, going on to North Leamington School to do my GCSEs and A-levels. I took up a place at Royal Holloway College, University of London to study biomedical sciences, graduating in July 2014. Since graduating I have returned to Leamington Spa – and enjoy its vibrant culture and atmosphere.

I joined the Liberal Democrats in 2011 because the party stands for a strong economy built on a fair society. We believe in ensuring that all people deserve to be given the opportunity to further themselves. There is little point in building a strong economy if we leave the poorest behind. The Liberal Democrats believe in unity, in ensuring all people have the opportunity to succeed, which can only help Leamington Spa and Warwick, this constituency and this nation, to continue to grow and get stronger.

I am proud that the Liberal Democrats have stood up for under-privileged school children by introducing the pupil premium, with schools in this constituency getting over £2million last year. Liberal Democrats have also worked to lift some of the poorest in our society out of income tax, by raising the tax threshold, protecting the most vulnerable from the austerity measures put in place to balance our budget. Looking to the future, we hope to take these further. We are also the only party who understand the need to properly recognise mental health problems. We all know somebody who at some point in their life has experienced mental health problems, and they need as much help as those suffering physical illnesses.

It is a great honour for me to have been selected to stand for this constituency, and believe it’s very important for the future that we ensure more people get involved in our democracy. We live in a nation that values freedom of thought and expression. There is a danger that we take it for granted – and yet day in day out, people are killed the world over for the idea that we in this country assume as a right. Too many people, many in my own age group, turn their backs on our democracy, so I urge them all to go out and make their voice heard. Voting isn’t the end of it – that’s where it all begins. Whatever your political beliefs, I believe it’s vital to stand up, and let your voice be heard. Without you we have no democracy, without you we lose the collective progress of all humankind – so get involved!

Haseeb Arif

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