Sutton and Cheam at centre of bid to give the Lib Dems their first female Asian MP

St Helier Hospital and Brexit are proving central to the campaign of the Sutton and Cheam Liberal Democrat aiming to be the party’s first Asian female MP.

Amna Ahmad, who says she is a passionate advocate for local people, will contest the seat against current Conservative holder Paul Scully.

Miss Ahmad, 32, believes this ‘unsafe’ parliamentary seat is a great opportunity for people to make a choice for a positive future.

She said: “There are a lot of people in this area, friends and family, who are worried about the way that politics is moving.

“They are particularly worried this this general election is designed in a way to give any next government a blank cheque and that can lead to people being take for granted.”

Miss Ahmad feels that the Conservative Government has made this snap election decision in the hope of a lack of opposition.

“It is not democracy to say that you should have no opposition,” she continued.

She said she is disappointed in the possibility of the election delivering a Conservative majority, but echoes Lib Dem leader Tim Farron in ruling out any coalition due to the significantly different views of each party.

Miss Ahmad, who lost out in Streatham to Labour’s Chuka Umunna in 2015, grew up in Lewisham after moving from Pakistan as a baby.

The Oxford graduate has been campaigning for Sutton and Cheam since 2015, and later moved there with her fiancé after being priced out of Streatham long-term.

One of her campaign’s key focal points is St Helier Hospital, a place she says locals feel the Government will not protect.

She said: “I have worked in health policy for 10 years so I know there are no easy solutions, but what I also know is that the conservative government in the past has been known to go back on promises of extra funding.”

Miss Ahmad cited £200m of funding which was secured by the coalition government, and then disappeared when the conservatives came into sole power in 2015.

Sutton was the only borough in south west London to vote to leave the EU — Miss Ahmad, a Remain campaigner, said she respects the wishes of Brexit voters but thinks the Conservative proposal on how Britain leaves the EU is irresponsible and that the party is picking up votes from a ‘destroyed’ UKIP.

The Lib Dems’ relationship with young people, which was damaged due to broken tuition-fee promises from previous leader Nick Clegg, is not what she believes is putting off young people from voting.

Miss Ahmad thinks infighting within the Government has led to young people avoiding involvement in politics.

She said: “I think the time is absolutely right to have a liberal voice within our politics, so for young people I would encourage them to continue to be involved and not be put off by the negativity of global politics at the moment.”

On potentially being the first Asian female Lib Dem MP, Ahmad said: “It would be so awe inspiring to be able to be a role mode for other young people and in particular young women in this country.”

But for her, the ‘great privilege’ would be the first of many steps.

Miss Ahmad will be taking part in hustings at Glenthorne High School, Sutton, on May 17.

Related Articles