Nusrat Ghani is Wealden Conservatives’ Parliamentary candidate and successor to Charles Hendry MP who retires at the 2015 General Election.
Nusrat, 41, and married to David Wheeldon, could be called‘the people’s choice’. She was selected at open primary which placed the process in the hands of the 380-plus people who went to the meeting, only half of whom were Conservative members. She said: “That shows me people are still committed and enthusiastic about politics.”
Nusrat has five brothers and a sister, grew up in Birmingham, studied international relations and politics at Birmingham University then took her Masters at Leeds. “My parents came a long way and that gave us a breadth of outlook. I believe in education - it’s the only way we can change our lives” she stated. “I bring a perspective of what it takes to strive against the odds as many people in this country do every day. My conviction comes from experience and a career outside politics.”
She moved from the emerging markets team at Goldman Sachs to manage health policy for charities Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Age Concern where she campaigned for better care for cancer patients and the elderly. Recruited by the BBC World Service, she headed communications and fundraising in trouble spots including Burma, Russia and Afghanistan.
Her priorities are improving the lives of families here, particularly healthcare, youth and the elderly.
“I’ve visited local hospitals and the commitment and passion of our local doctors and nurses must be matched by the Trust. “Charles has been a strong voice for local hospitals, especially Crowborough, and I will continue his campaign for the highest quality local health care.
“I’m passionate about getting ordinary voices, ordinary people, heard in politics, which is why I wanted to enter public service and stood as candidate at the last general election. I cut my teeth standing in Birmingham Ladywood - a challenging place for Conservatives - but gained support across the diverse community and ran a common-sense campaign that people of all political persuasions were willing to rally around.”
She plans to pound the streets, learn from all communities, champion business, maintain local health care, fight for a fairer share of funding for schoolchildren, investment in transport and environmental protection.
“I am ambitious for our country to be the best in education, health care, expertise and talent. Our best days are ahead of us. I am humbled and honoured at being chosen.”