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Anglican priest is chosen to fight Field at next general election

The Reverend Steven Saxby: ‘I have spent my life campaigning for equality, justice and peace’

09 February, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Rev Steven Saxby will stand for the the Labour Party

A PARISH priest is hoping to unseat Mark Field MP at the next general election after winning the Labour Party’s Cities of London and Westminster nomination.

The Reverend Steven Saxby, who is a priest in Walthamstow, says he has what it takes to win the key Labour target at the next general election after Mr Field saw his majority slashed from 9,671 to 3,148 last year.

But Rev Saxby faces a task of biblical proportions as the Cities of London and Westminster seat has been Conservative since it was created in 1950. In a television interview this week with the Islam Channel, Rev Saxby described the constituency as the “seat of power” where “some of the wealthiest individuals, with immense power and privilege” were neighbours of “many left behind from Tory austerity”.

And, of the last election, he added: “There was a brilliant result for Emma Dent Coad in Kensington and Chelsea.

Mark Field: the current MP

“What she knew, is that area is a very mixed area. If we are a party who speaks to those people, who address those concerns of the people, we can show we have the answers.”

Currently an Anglican priest at St Barnabas Church in Walthamstow, he has campaigned for London Citizens and the City Safe group.

Rev Saxby is also a member of Walthamstow Migrants Action Group and founded the London Boroughs Faiths Network in 2002.

On why he is standing, he said: “This constituency is where I work and study, campaign and socialise.

“I am passionate about our Cities of London and Westminster.

“As the son of a care worker and street cleaner, I went to a comprehensive school before working in factories and shops and then becoming the first from my family to go to university.

“I have seen first-hand the impact Tory-driven austerity. I have spent my life campaigning for equality, justice and peace. I have decades of experience of bringing people together to campaign and win on local issues.”

Rev Saxby was won the nomination in a close run contest featuring Rehana Ameer, a City of London councillor; Chris Clark, transport worker and TSSA rep; barrister Gordon Nardell; Denise Scott-McDonald, who is in the West End Labour branch; Sucharita Sethi, a communications expert who runs a small business; and transport writer Christian Wolmar.

Mr Field retained his seat for the fourth time at the 2017 general election and was made Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by the prime minister.

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