Since being elected six years ago I have tried to be an active and energetic local MP, and I hope you have seen this. I aim to deliver real results for our neighbourhood, as the box on this page shows.
Before being elected, I set up and ran my own businesses. I set my first business up when I was 24, starting off driving the delivery van myself and growing it to employing hundreds of people. Since then I’ve founded businesses in finance, travel, and one which helped to rebuild housing in the former Yugoslavia in the aftermath of its civil war. This kind of real-world experience means I know how to get things done.
In 2009 I set up a charity, Next Big Thing. I wanted to give young people the same opportunities to fulfil their potential that I have had. The charity worked with hundreds of youngsters across London, giving them mentoring from successful businessmen and helping them to create their own business plans. The project has now been handed over to The Mercer’s Company, who are continuing the charity’s work with my full support.
The NHS is particularly close to my heart. In 2013, my twins were born very prematurely at 25 weeks. The NHS saved their lives. That is why helping the NHS in Croydon is one of my priorities.
I grew up not far from here, and I still remember going to my first Palace game at Selhurst Park in 1991. Although I was offered a place at Trinity School here in Croydon, my parents in the end couldn’t afford the fees and instead I went to a Grammar school in a next-door Borough. Ensuring that the state education system can provide the very best education for all our children is vital.