28 April 2015
In the run up to the General Election we will be giving you the opportunity to get to know some of our candidates. Our key candidates and spokespeople can be found here.
This year we will be standing in over 90% of seats in England and Wales.
Our featured candidate for Croydon North: Shasha Khan
Shasha has led a a legal challenge to stop a polluting incinerator being built on the edge of Croydon. Today he continues his David v Goliath battle against Sutton Council and Viridor (owned by FTSE 250 company Pennon Group) when he returns to the Royal Courts of Justice with his legal team in order to persuade the High Court judge to grant permission for an appeal at an oral hearing.
Find out more about the campaign to stop the incinerator here.
1. Why are you standing for the Green Party?
I have lived in the constituency for 33 years and I always seem to be campaigning to improve, stop or protect something. Local journalists noticed this too and dubbed me Croydon's Green Knight! Standing for election is one way to get our parties principles, which I share, across. I put my name forward for the seat and I was thrilled to be selected again.
2. What are your three top priorities if elected?
At huge personal financial risk I launched a legal challenge to stop a polluting incinerator being built on the edge of Croydon. Waste is a resource. Burning South London's waste, including recyclables, for the next 25 years makes no sense. I would work to ensure the waste hierarchy is properly adhered to. Everything that can be reused and recycled should be reused and recycled.
My constituency experienced shocking scenes in August 2011 when the riots took place. Some businesses are still awaiting compensation and I am also concerned that government money earmarked to regenerate our riot-hit areas is being redirected elsewhere. Raising the minimum wage to £10 per hour by 2020, along with our education policies, would help close the pay gap between rich and poor because studies show that rioters were poorer, younger and less educated.
Returning the railways to public ownership is also a top priority. Like many local rail users, I am frustrated with the above inflation fare hikes meted out by rail company Southern. What makes it worse is that Southern is part-owned by SNCF, the state owned French railways. The profits Southern make are arguably used to subsidise the lower fares in France!
3. What made you want to get involved in politics?
The war in Iraq. I felt that I just had to get involved – protesting was evidently not enough.
4. What's your favourite thing about your constituency?
It is the diversity. I remember going to a sing-along session for toddlers at Thornton Heath library with my daughter. It felt like I was at the creche of the United Nations building in New York. It was Christmas time and I remember all the mums dads and children singing carols together - a memorable experience.
5. Who is your political hero?
Practically anybody who appears in Amnesty's magazine, so anyone who risks their future, whether through torture or imprisonment, for standing up for what they believe in.