General Election 2019: Brex-‘It’ girl well aware she won’t be PM

By Rachel Steinberg
December 8 2019, 13.05

Julia Stephenson just wants to go back to rescuing dogs.

She only ran for candidacy, she said, because a more qualified candidate was told he’d be sacked if he ran for the Brexit Party.

Ms Stephenson, 57, is full of contradictions.

The one-time ‘It’ girl is an heiress to the vast Vestey beef family fortune but is a vegetarian Buddhist.

 She’s says she isn’t a politician but has run for office numerous times since 2001 when she was the Green Party’s candidate for Kensington and Chelsea.

Ms Stephenson said: “I know I’m not going to be elected.

“But I’m doing it so people have something they can vote for if this is what they believe in because that’s what democracy is.”

Ms Stephenson says she is a long-time environmentalist and animal rights activist. Greenpeace ranked the Brexit Party worst on environmental issues.

Ms Stephenson said: “We’re broad-church. “It’s a big party and there are lots of different opinions. I would like it to be more environmental.”

The writer documented her experience of trying to turn her old Chelsea flat into the first carbon-neutral dwelling in Sloane Square in a 2009 book called Letting Go of the Glitz.

Until last year, Ms Stephenson ran a dog rescue on a large piece of land in Surrey for strays from Greece and Romania.

She’s living temporarily in a gated Putney new-build while she makes plans for a scaled-down operation.

Ms Stephenson gets organic vegetables delivered once a week and maintains a wormery on the roof terrace.

She didn’t participate in Extinction Rebellion and acknowledges environmentalism can be a middle-class issue.

She said: “If you’ve got food on the table and a roof over your head you have a bit more energy to care about these other issues.

“I think people who have a lot of money could do a lot more to be honest.”

She admitted in 2010 to writing Amazon reviews of her own work, which also includes a fictional romance called Pandora’s Diamond.

So how would she respond to a constituent who accused her of lying?

She said: “No one has to trust me. I’m not trying to become prime minister.

“I’m doing this because nobody else would do it.”

Read more about what’s important to south west London constituencies in our 24-page General Election preview special.

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