Guy Harris has been selected to fight the forthcoming general election on behalf of Hastings and Rye Liberal Democrats.

Guy and his family have lived in the constituency for nearly 14 years. Hastings and Rye is his home. One of his children was born in the Conquest Hospital and both children attend local state schools.

He is active in the community, taking a keen interest in constituency affairs, and writing regularly in the local press on national and international issues. He is prominent in the ongoing local campaigns to repair our pot-holed roads, and during the pandemic, he supported Rye Mutual Aid. Guy has raised funds for the Royal British Legion and been a long term ‘Good Samaritan’ for the Burma Star Association. He has done voluntary work to support the Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal, and raised funds for memorials and overseas trips for veterans and their families. In May 2023, he stood in the district council elections.

Professionally, Guy worked in prime-time television for over a decade, winning a Bafta in 2006, before moving gradually into communications consultancy and working for the US, UK and other governments in conflict and post-conflict societies. He was recently appointed to the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office’s UK Stabilisation Unit and is on the Deployable Civilian roster. He is currently advising the United Nations.

Guy says he had not always wanted to be a politician. “Like many of us,” he says, “I thought that was something other people did. But I had waning faith in tribal politicians and political parties, and I realised if I didn’t like it, and didn’t want my kids to grow up in an unequal society where they couldn’t afford a home in East Sussex, I ought to do something about it.”

His political priorities are the cost of living, the NHS and related public services, sewage and the environment. “Like Liberal Democrats nationally, I want a fair deal for the people of Hastings and Rye. It will be a long road, but I also want to help restore people’s faith that democracy can work for them, that politicians listen, and that together we can make Britain a fairer, happier, more united and prosperous society.” Part of his vision for change is promoting the cause of electoral reform so that votes count and voices are heard. “This is a watershed election,” he says, “and we have a powerful opportunity to send Westminster a clear message that we want real generational change, not just a change of government for the next five years. Please bear in mind,” he adds, “the Liberal Democrats are the only major party that seek power to give it back to you.”

“I live in a rural part of our beautiful constituency. My neighbours are farmers and I’m surrounded by a natural environment that I love, and I know they love and care for too. We need to talk seriously about the environment, and we need to talk about our trading relationship with Europe too. Because, if our farmers cannot farm and they cannot trade, we will have no farmers, no food security and our rural heritage will die. The same may be said for our fishing communities in Hastings and Rye, which, without serious support, will sail over the horizon into history.”

Socially, Guy loves pottering in Hastings and St Leonards, rummaging in the High St and the King’s Road. He and his wife can be found in the summer months scouring the local boot-sales for treasure. The museums in Rye and Winchelsea are two of his favourite places, and he enjoys a pint in The Ypres and The Albion. He loves art and history, especially social history, which is, he adds, “the story of ordinary people, who I find much more interesting than dukes and earls.” He’s “not much of a sports fan”, he says, but is a keen supporter of his son’s team, “the mighty Rye Bay FC.”

“Hastings and Rye deserve a constituency MP who lives here full time; somebody for whom our home is not merely a stepping stone to a political career at Westminster.” He’s lived and worked all over the world, but Guy says, “Hastings and Rye has always felt like home, and I want to represent my home. Not somebody else’s.”

Finally, he says, “Labour and the Conservatives want to toss Hastings and Rye back and forth between them for another century. But look at the turmoil those two parties have created locally, and nationally. I think 2024 is the year to tell the two Westminster parties, ‘We Wunt Be Druv!’ Don’t you?”

Guy Harris

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