Paul Mason for Islington North

Paul Mason for Islington North

I’m Paul Mason: journalist, trade unionist and lifelong campaigner for social justice. I’m standing for selection as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Islington North. The ballot of party members takes place between 24 May and 1 June so if you want to support me, or ask a question, please get in touch.

I worked hard for Jeremy Corbyn while leader, and I hope to build on the decades of tireless work he’s done for local people. I backed Keir Starmer, and took part in his leadership campaign in 2020, because I knew he could put us where we are today – on the brink of a Labour government that will give Britain its future back.

But it’s vital that we win here. Islington North needs an MP who can help set Labour’s agenda in government.

I’ll do my best to keep the Labour and trade union movement in Islington united around our common goals – delivering Keir Starmer’s five missions, enacting Labour’s New Deal for Working People and achieving a new, comprehensive partnership with Europe to reverse the most damaging effects of Brexit.

My story is a Labour story

At the age of 18 my Dad went down a coal mine. When I turned 18 I went to University, for free. That only happened because the post-war Labour governments gave my Mum and Dad the confidence to dream of a better future and to tools to achieve it: rising wages, clean air, safe streets, free healthcare and a first class education.

And that’s what I want for every family in Islington.

A chance to achieve your potential, to live in a crime-free community, in a home you can afford and with a job you are proud to do. Above all, we need to secure the future by moving as fast as possible towards a Net Zero economy.

I was on the picket lines in the Miners’ Strike and I haven’t stopped since: I will always stand with workers in struggle. I marched for Black Lives Matter in 2020, and in the 1990s I marched for Stephen Lawrence and other victims of racist murders.

As for Gaza: 10 years ago I walked into Gaza while the bombs were falling because I was determined to tell the story from the Palestinian side. I want an immediate ceasefire, a two state solution, the return of Israeli hostages, the prosecution of those who perpetrated 7 October, and a thorough investigation into Israeli breaches of the laws of war.

Democracy is at stake

What’s at stake in the coming general election is clear: either Labour delivers on its five missions or we fail, and the Tories come back, this time with an overt racist agenda, arm in arm with Trump and Farage.

And that’s why we need people in Parliament with a track record of leadership, activism, representing people at work and policy development.

As a union rep at the BBC, I fought dozens of cases for people victimised, bullied and threatened with redundancy. I know how real change happens: through inspiring people with a story of hope, building alliances and fostering the grassroots networks that give working people the power to enact change.

That’s why I will push for Labour to implement its New Deal for Working People within 100 days of coming to office, and in full. And why, at local level, I will use the New Deal to spearhead a unionisation drive among precarious workers in the Borough.

My Vision for Islington North

We need to save maternity care at the Whittington – and to address the issues that underly the threat: deteriorating public health, staff shortages and the need for big new investments in our health service. I am under no illusions: the NHS needs more money and in Parliament I will fight for it.

Islington has some of the worst poverty alongside some of the highest rents in Britain. That’s driving families out of the Borough and forcing school closures. That’s why I will prioritise giving Sadiq Khan the power he needs to bring in a strong rent control regime, and new rights for tenants and leaseholders.

I also want a rapid and comprehensive re-engagement with Europe, on security, trade and wider cultural exchange. Some 85% of Islington North’s voters wanted a second referendum on Brexit – and I fought for it, by mobilising on the streets and in Parliament when it mattered, alongside the People’s Vote campaign, shoulder to shoulder with Keir and Emily.

The prospect of climate chaos is terrifying. That’s why we need to seize Labour’s offer to fund local green energy projects – rolling out Islington’s plan to harness heat rising from the Tube and data centres into a new, green energy scheme that could slash people’s energy bills. I will prioritise getting the investment for that, and the buy-in at national level – to make Islington a flagship for Labour’s approach to green jobs, green energy and green growth.

Organise, Communicate, Inspire

This campaign could be challenging. But I am used to that. The party sent me to campaign across the Red Wall in 2019, and I’ve campaigned in Batley and Uxbridge, where votes were on a knife edge. What I’ve learned is that voters want straight answers – and I will always give them.

The next five years are about saving democracy, kick-starting growth, rapid progress towards Net Zero, legislation for workers rights and rapid re-engagement with the European Union.

That will mean using Parliament wisely – the committee system, the detailed scrutiny of legislation – to make sure the polluters, the rip off landlords and letting agents and the anti-union employers can’t lobby their way off the hook. Above all it means empowering the grassroots.

It will mean telling Labour’s story, simply and effectively to an electorate desperate for change. That’s what I do, week in week out as an journalist on TV, radio and in print.

It would be an honour and a privilege to serve this community, and to represent its values in Parliament.

Labour in power will give Britain it’s future back. Let’s make sure that, as it does so, Islington North has a voice.

You can help

The selection is going to be fast. That’s out of my control. Voting begins 24 May by post, 25 May online and closes on 1 June.

I don’t have a campaign “machine” – I am relying on ordinary members to spread the word, to listen to the other candidates with respect, to work out the best Labour offer for this unique campaign, and to keep our movement together. If you want to help, or ask a question, or suggest a policy I should campaign on, please get in touch.

My affiliations
Vauxhall and Camberwell Green CLP
National Union of Journalists
Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, UK Champion
Open Labour
Fabian Society
Labour Movement for Europe
SERA – Labour’s Environmental Campaign
Jewish Labour Movement – Ally
Council on Geostrategy – Associate Fellow