Labour Party candidate Virendra Sharma has officially inaugurated his campaign office in Ealing Southall – in a sign that despite the fact the constituency is fortress-safe for the well-known MP, complacency could mean disaster in what is set to be the most fractious general election in a generation.
The seat is a safe bet for Mr Sharma who won the 2010 election by a massive margin.
However, he is not resting on his laurels. Speaking at the inauguration, Mr Sharma said: “This will be the start of the most important election for a generation. The NHS will not survive another five years under the Tories, only Labour’s long term plan to protect services by integrating health and social care will save the NHS.
“Another period of Tory austerity would be disastrous for Britain, it would be further tax cuts for the richest and mean more people visiting food-banks than at any point in the last century. The Conservative and Lib-Dem coalition governs for the few not the many”, he added.
Mr Sharma first came to power in the 2007 Ealing Southall by-election, following the death of the previous Labour candidate Piara Khabra.
Born and raised in India, Mr Sharma, 67, first came to Britain in 1968 to attend the London School of Economics. He later worked as a bus conductor and a local councillor in the London Borough of Ealing before entering politics.
He was initially a member of the Liberal Party before switching to Labour.
He serves in a number of Parliamentary Select Committees including for human rights and international aid.
His competition in this year’s election includes Lib Dem candidate Kavya Kaushik.