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I am voting for the independent Jeremy Corbyn

He has shown his selfless commitment to his constituency and the people who live there, young and old, over many decades. Jeremy deserves your vote, writes LAURA ALVAREZ

IF YOU’D asked me a few years ago if Jeremy Corbyn — who selflessly gave more than four decades of his life to the Labour party and the people of Islington North — would ever run as an independent candidate, I would have said of course not. 

Because the party he gave his all to — almost up to the door of No 10 Downing Street — has since decided his loyalty, his passion, his hope for Islington North and for people across the country is not worth the respect and dignity he has shown to others, he has had to make a very difficult decision to stand to be the independent MP for Islington North.

Jeremy has put himself at the service of every constituent and has stood up for us since he was first elected 41 years ago. He’s been our beacon of hope and never ignored the needs of voters in Islington North, even when he was leader of the Labour Party.  

He could have been like many others who just give up on their constituents and their casework but he doesn’t walk away when he feels there is so much to do. He always put other people first. Young people, older people, people from all backgrounds, people from all corners of Islington North.

This is why I am asking you to vote in person for Jeremy Corbyn in Islington North on July 4. He is the only candidate who represents my values and my politics — and I hope he represents yours too. 

If you are not already familiar with his principles and track record of standing up for Islington North year in, year out, you can check his record on the parliamentary website or at www.theyworkforyou.com.

Almost everyone who has lived in the area will already know of his lifelong commitment to anti-racism, his campaign to save Whittington Hospital and how he worked alongside the Jewish community to protect the cemetery.  

It is no secret that Jeremy has been attacked, not just by the Tories but by his own former colleagues — by people who called him a friend. People who were happy to take a place in his shadow cabinet and people who made promises that they broke with scarcely a second thought when it suited them.

No-one has the knowledge, the understanding and the sheer passion for north Islington like he does: you can see this when he walks or cycles our streets — streets he knows not just the names of but the names of people who live on or who have businesses there. Since 1983 he has been working tirelessly for us, protecting parks for our community and saving schools from closure or conversion — or the worst option, to sell the buildings to private investors. 

Corbyn knows every neighbourhood, he has visited almost every school, every church, shul, mosque and other house of prayer.  

Before Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party, even his opponents recognised he was a man of integrity who was famous for standing up to racism, for supporting the concerns of his constituents, and it was precisely this broad-church attitude that the voters of Islington North appreciated. 

Jeremy has always met people and listened to their concerns and he has always seen his primary duty as a representative, as a servant of the people. His constituents also know that he cannot be bought or bribed: no dinner or football game will sway him from always putting the people of Islington North’s interests first.

I know so many will share my concerns about what the current Labour Party plans for the NHS. It seems there is currently very little to distinguish them from the Tories. Since Jeremy had the whip removed it is as though the Labour Party also cast out thousands of people who care deeply about the things that matter — and who were shocked to find themselves cast out after years of proactive membership of a party that was formed to uphold principles of fairness and equality of opportunity.

Not so long ago Jeremy was fighting hard to save our NHS and keep it free at the point of delivery. Whether you are rich or poor — the whole point is that universal, quality healthcare should be available to all of us.  

In 2017 Jeremy brought renewed hope and confidence to millions of people in Britain and demonstrated that austerity policies were a matter of political choice — and that there was another way. A way that was born from his years of representing Islington North where we have seen the results of his four decades of public service.

But after Sir Keir Starmer — who previously spoke of how he was proud to call him a friend — went back on his promise to return the whip, he used the opportunities Jeremy had given him to win the leadership and promptly abandoned his promises, the “10 pledges.” 

Now he is prioritising prisons over pupils. As a result, many people have lost hope and lost their political home in the Labour Party.

Starmer’s attitude to people of Palestine causes me fear and sadness at the same time. He said that Benjamin Netanyahu’s government had the right to cut off electricity, water and all supplies to the Palestinians. Is this inhuman act, devoid of compassion something that you could feel comfortable voting for?

Some want to snatch away our hope for a more peaceful world, to accept the genocide in Palestine and try to make us immune to the suffering of others.

I stand with those who saw hope when there was none by voting for Jeremy. This July 4, people will choose between austerity policies and authoritarianism with the Conservative Party, an imposed Labour candidate without a track record of standing up for the people of Islington North and who cannot demonstrate the same decades-long dedication that Jeremy has shown to our community — or for a renewed hope with Jeremy who wants to continue to represent us and our values of community, of peace, of progress and of compassion. 

Even if he wasn’t my husband, I would be voting for Jeremy, because he cares like no other person I know. He has always put Islington North and its people first. He stood for the Labour leadership because he felt it was his duty but he works for Islington North because this is the community that he loves.

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